Food stores plan refused by councillors

A computer generated image of what the new store would look like.
A computer generated image of what the new store would look like.

Plans for a new Aldi supermarket and Home Bargains store in Glass Houghton have been rejected over fears they could “significantly impact” Castleford town centre.

Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee refused to grant planning permission for the scheme, on the site of the former Hardy’s Printers, off Park Road, at a meeting today (Thursday).

Councillors said the scheme, which would have created 120 jobs, would have a “significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Castleford town centre” when considered alongside other developments in the area.

At a meeting in February, the council approved plans for the £135m Five Towns Park retail development, which also includes a new stadium for Castleford Tigers, as well as improvements to the Leeds Road Asda supermarket.

Mark Taylor, from Aldi, told today’s meeting: “The site has been overgrown and a dumping ground for rubbish. It is in desperate need of investment and regeneration.

“Our proposals would create 120 jobs and if approved both retailers will open within a year. It seems unfair to the residents of Glass Houghton that officers should recommend refusal particularly as the Five Towns Park is some time away and Asda’s plans may never happen.”

Castleford and Glass Houghton councillor Tony Wallis said: “I think there are positives in this application and there is a lot of local support for an Aldi store in the local area and it would also bring back into use an area of land which is not currently in use.

“But does the fact that we said we were minded to give permission for the Five Towns Park mean no retail within Glass Houghton can take place?”

Ian Pollard, senior planning officer, replied: “In terms of other retail developments in Glass Houghton, I can’t sit here and say there will be no other retail in Glass Houghton in the future.

“But all applications for the next few years have now got to be taken in the context of if the Five Towns Park is approved.”

Coun Richard Forster, speaking in support of the application, said: “The application gives the opportunity to redevelop a piece of land which has been derelict for a number of years.

“It’s on the main thoroughfare into Castleford and residents who live opposite have complained many times to me about the state of the site. Jobs are also much needed in the area.”

Councillors supported the officers’ recommendation to refuse planning permission for the development.