Outrage at plans for new drinking spot in…

Outrage at plans for new drinking spot in village

Plans for a new drinking spot in a village have sparked outrage.

Those putting forward the scheme – to convert a former bric-a-brac shop in Main Street, Haworth – say the venture would give a much-needed lift to that area.

But opponents fear the proposals could lead to a noise nightmare and they say the village doesn’t need another premises for drinking.

Applicant Daryl Ley is seeking planning permission for a change of use of a vacant shop at 17 Main Street into a drinking establishment, and to replace the shopfront. A statement says the aim is to create “a relaxed social meeting place”with a “strong emphasis on locally-sourced products.”

It is also intended to provide local information for visitors – following the closure of Haworth’s Visitor Information Centre – a free mini-library and space for community workshops.

The report claims the vitality of Main Street has been declining and that the initiative will help reverse that decline.

Agent Heritage Planning Design Ltd says residents’ concerns voiced following a previous application, which was subsequently withdrawn, have been addressed.

However, villagers say their fears have not been allayed.

Worth Valley ward district councillor Rebecca Poulsen, who lives in the village, has been contacted by a number of residents over the issue. And she says some of the concerns she herself had when the original application was submitted to Bradford Council still stand.

“The premises are in a very residential part of the main street and residents are concerned about the potential noise and disturbance and impact on their amenity,” said Cllr Poulsen.

“I sympathise with the view that we want to bring new businesses to Haworth and we don’t want empty shops, but there are a lot of bars opening and people want the village to cater for all types of visitor, not just the nighttime economy.

“To suggest Main Street is in decline is simply untrue and misleading, and businesses are very upset by the claim.”

Mike Hutchinson – who owns Ye Sleeping House B&B across the road from the premises – describes the application as “disgusting”.

“Apart from one or two shops this is a residential and quiet area of the main street – this plan would destroy that,” he says. “We don’t want it. A lot of my regular guests come here because it is a peaceful spot and they’ve said they may well stop coming if the scheme goes ahead.

“I welcome the right sort of establishment opening, but we don’t need another drinking place in Haworth – support the existing pubs.”

Will Cartwright, for Heritage Planning Design Ltd, said he felt residents’ concerns had been addressed in the new application.

“The applicant is very mindful of people’s worries about noise and has put together a noise management plan,” said Mr Cartwright. We have tried our best to deal with that and are satisfied there won’t be any issues.

“We don’t feel there are too many drinking establishments in the village.”