SUPERMARKET plans by a Barnoldswick fabrics firm have won out in a major three-way battle between rival traders.

Proposals by Albert Hartley for their Crownest Mill site in Skipton Road found favour with the West Craven Area Committee after a four-hour debate at the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club.

Bosses have said they want to replace their outdated premises with an expanded industrial building and 3,344 square metre food store.

No details on which firm would occupy the new supermarket have been revealed by Albert Hartley bosses.

But the decision leaves an opposing bid by Tesco , in partnership with Leggett and Platt Springs Ltd and Liberty Properties, out in the cold.

Land off Wellhouse Road, part of L&P’s base, would have been given over to a Tesco store, enabling the proceeds to be reinvested into the firm.

But alongside proposals by Pendle Properties to convert former gasworks land in Skipton Road for an Aldi store, the bid was rejected because of the perceived impact on town centre trade.

More than 250 people packed out the Skipton Road venue on Monday night to hear conflicting arguments over the supermarket packages.

The decision over the Albert Hartley site will need to be referred to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles over whether it should be ‘called-in’ and examined by government officials.

Councillors were told that around 80 per cent of people did their ‘weekly shop’ outside of Barnoldswick, visiting the likes of Colne and Skipton and taking around £25million out of the local economy.

Committee chairman Coun David Whipp, attempted to secure £500,000 for ‘promotional activities’ supporting the town centre, on top of £300,000 suggested for various improvements, as part of the Albert Hartley permission.

He added: “We need to do more to draw people into the town centre and create new events and attractions.

“We should be looking at a five-year programme of promotional activity.”

But planning manager Neil Watson said the authority risked provoking a judicial review if the deal could be considered ‘disproportionate’ to the development’s impact.

Further negotiations are set to take place over the planning agreement terms for the Albert Hartley site.

An appeal over a previous Tesco application for Wellhouse Road is set to be heard in Pendle on October 2.