Co-op plans ‘a slap in the face’ for residents

An artist's impression of the planned Co-op.
An artist's impression of the planned Co-op.

The Co-op has made another move to build a convenience store in South Kirkby, five months after its original plan was blocked.

Co-op is making a second attempt to build a new store on the site of a derelict medical centre on Barnsley Road, claiming “dozens of new jobs” could be created.

The government ruled against the Co-op’s original proposal last year on the grounds that lorry deliveries would disturb neighbours.

MORE: Residents’ anger at plans for Co-op supermarket
However, the entrance to the store’s car park remains unchanged from last year’s plan.

That’s in spite of heavy criticism from local councillors, one of whom described the application as “the worst I’ve seen in 40 years” from a “health and safety point of view”.

But the government’s planning inspector, Elaine Worthington disagreed with the suggestion that the entrance’s location was dangerous.

Gavin Glidewell, the Co-op’s director of operations, said: “We are excited about our new plans for South Kirkby and being a part of the community.

“The plan will see a modern store opening in a community that will provide all customers with all of their essentials and also see us invest in the local economy and create jobs for local people.

MORE: Co-op plans for South Kirkby come to an end
“We are working hard to ensure that concerns raised by local residents have been investigated and addressed.”

But South Kirkby councillor Michelle Collins said that the Co-op’s renewed efforts were a “slap in the face” for residents.

She said that people’s concerns about extra traffic and the impact of a national chain store on local traders remained.

“I’ve not had a single constituent come to me and say they think this is a good idea,” Collins said. “People are really not happy about it.

“If the Co-op want to be part of the community, they should be looking for somewhere else.

“Our local shops, which have been part of the fabric of our community for decades, need to be protected.”

A consultation event where residents will be able to view the plans in more detail and offer opinions takes place between 11am and 4pm on Saturday, June 15 at Burntwood Community Centre on Church Mount.

The matter is likely to be decided by Wakefield Council’s planning committee at a later date.

An application for taxpayers to foot the developers’ legal bill was also rejected in December, along with the initial store plan.