Letter: Breakdown is needed

Do you really expect 2,000 jobs to be created in Five Towns Park?

A significant economic development claimed within the proposal from Lateral Property Group to develop existing greenbelt land as Five Towns Park is the creation of “around 2,000 new jobs at the site”.

While it would be extremely beneficial to the local area to have extra well paid permanent jobs, this claim needs investigation.

I’m sure people would agree that relatively few new jobs would be created by a petrol station, most likely automated self service, Castleford Tigers or a new country park. If this 2,000 figure is to be reached the vast majority would therefore have to relate to the proposed retail development.

Your paper’s article of July 4 referred to the intention of Sainsbury’s to take over the nearby Aspen Way 72,000 sq ft site and stated that “the proposed development is expected to create 300 full and part time vacancies....and 70 B&Q staff will be offered an interview to work at the new store.”

This indicates the low numbers presently employed at B&Q, expected at Sainsbury’s and confirms that many roles within retail are not full time.

Articles in the national press about Aldi earlier this month stated that the average number of staff at their stores is only 35.

I would therefore ask that Lateral Property Group be compelled to share with the community how they have calculated their figure together with the full/part time split. Perhaps any calculation will have to include people on “zero hours” contracts.

Until they provide a realistic auditable breakdown, I’m sure I will not be alone in suspecting the ongoing economic benefits claimed to support their application have been exaggerated.

Margaret Oliver

Spittal Hardwick Lane