THE re-design of a proposed retail development in Keighley has won support of planning officers – and the scheme is likely to be approved this week.
Discount supermarket chain Aldi is planning to develop a long empty derelict site off East Parade in Keighley. The £10 million will include a new Aldi store, another large retail unit, a drive thru coffee shop and a number of smaller shops.
The plans went before a Bradford Council planning committee in November, but planning officers had raised concerns over the design – comparing it to dumping an out of town retail park in Keighley town centre.
Officers said the buildings did not take the character of the town into account, and said the development was too car focused – doing little to encourage people to walk between the site and the town centre.
Rather than refuse the application, members of the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee asked Aldi to redesign the plans.
The move prompted anger in the town, with some residents and local politicians arguing that because the site had been empty for so long, development should be approved no-matter what the design.
Aldi urged to re-design plans for key site in Keighley
The company did re-design the plans last month. The new scheme would have more landscaping and better pedestrian links between the site and both East Parade and Coney Lane.
Rather than a drive thru coffee shop facing onto East Parade, the smaller shop units will now front onto the street. The drive thru has been moved to the Gresty Road site of the site.
The new plans will go before the Committee at its first meeting of 2021 on Thursday, and planning officers have recommended the plans for approval.
They say the new design, including a re-designed Aldi unit and building containing three small stores opening onto East Parade, provided a much better design.
A report to the committee said: “It is along the East Parade frontage that connections to and from the town centre are considered integral to a successful scheme.
“By including the buildings on East Parade and the area of public space at Coney Lane/East Parade junction, connections both physically and visually, with the town centre, including Cavendish Court and Hannover Court via Royal Arcade, can be provided.
“As part of the proposal, the applicant has agreed the introduction of a signalised pedestrian crossing on East Parade.”
On the new Aldi design the report says: “It is considered that the proposed store would better reflect the context of the area.
“The proposed retail development on an allocated site, a retail expansion area, is considered appropriate, providing growth and qualitative improvements within Keighley.
“The proposed development would ensure that the character of the surrounding area is not adversely affected.”
The committee meets online at 10am on Thursday.
If the plan is approved, Aldi will move from its existing site in Keighley – a short distance from this site.
The company says two national companies have agreed terms for the other large buildings in the development.