A RALLY is planned for people protesting against plans for a Tesco store in a former pub.
On Tuesday more than 100 protesters met outside the Black Bull Pub, in Huddersfield Road, then walked with ‘Say no to Tesco’ banners to St Paul’s Church.
There they held a protest meeting and discussed how to fight Tesco’s plans to convert the bottom floor of the pub into an Express shop,
During the meeting MP Simon Reevell suggested a rally, which is now planned for Saturday September 3.
After the meeting Mirfield Action Group was formed to kickstart the anti-Tesco.
The group hopes to delay councillors making a decision on Tesco’s seven planning applications and build up enough support to convince Tesco that moving to Mirfield would be a commercial mistake.
It plans to distribute 5,000 leaflets and put a banner on Mirfield Showground to promote the protest. It is also encouraging people to write to Kirklees Council’s planning department before Tuesday.
Tesco’s applications may be delayed by butcher Chris Ramsden’s claim that he owns the land that Tesco plans to use as a car park.
Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) said some of the land would be out of Tesco’s hands because it was part of Princess Street and that Kirklees Council’s heritage department had its own objections.
However, Tesco does not have to apply for planning permission to set-up a shop in the Black Bull in principle, as this is not classed as a change of use of the building.
The seven applications submitted by Tesco are for external works such as the car park and a cash machine.
Mr Reevell has invited a Tesco executive to visit Mirfield and hear shopkeepers’ concerns.
Mr Reevell said that even if the planning committee turned down Tesco’s planning applications, that may not stop it opening the actual store.
He said it was important for campaigners to establish the level of opposition and for Tesco to listen to the wishes of all the people of Mirfield.
Mr Reevell added: “If there are 30 or 40 people at the rally a week on Saturday then Tesco can say it is entitled to come, but if 1,000 people come, Tesco will have to listen.”
Mr Reevell added that he hoped the government’s Localism Bill would give residents more say on planning issues in future.
The rally is at 10.30am at Mirfield Showground on September 3.