AN INDUSTRIAL park, which could create 800 jobs, is to be built in new phases following approval of changes to planning conditions.
The move will allow work on Interchange 26 at the 57-acre former North Bierley Water Treatment Works in Oakenshaw near Cleckheaton, to begin in a “more timely manner”.
Keyland Developments, the property trading arm of Kelda Group and sister company to Yorkshire Water sold the redundant site to develop Opus North for an undisclosed sum last year.
The former owners had already secured outline planning consent from Kirklees Council for a commercial development of around 400,000 sq ft of industrial and employment space.
Work by the Ilkley-based developer was initially set to begin on the site in the first quarter of this year.
The site is near the intersection of the M62 and M606 at junction 26 Chain Bar and was put on the market at the end of 2018.
In documents to the Council, the developer states: “It has always been the intention for the site to be delivered in phases, due to its scale and because its delivery is subject to the market and commercial interest.”
It adds that “phasing the site’s delivery will enable the scheme to come forward in a much more timely manner, and it also provides the potential occupiers of each phase with more control over the design of their respective plots of land”.
“However, in order to facilitate this, the conditions subject to this application are required to be discharged with a phased approach.”
At the time of the purchase, Andrew Duncan, managing director of Opus North, said: “The acquisition of this key site forms part of our wider aspirations within the logistics sector where we see strong opportunities to deliver schemes of excellence to address the chronic shortages of high quality industrial and logistics space.
He added that they were already in discussions with potential occupiers for the first unit.
In November a pre-application report was put before the Council’s strategic planning committee detailing how Opus North intended to phase the scheme.
“The application site has previously been separated into three employment zones which were to be developed across different plateaus, and which would form separate phases of development.
“It is now proposed to take a different approach to the phasing of the development, with the initial phase focused on delivering units 1 and 2.
“Therefore the strategy put forward by the enquirer is to seek the discharge of conditions and reserved matters approval required to enable the development of this first phase of development, including the relevant enabling works.