Developers unhappy with Bradford Council’s refusal of plans for a Shipley superstore have hit out at a rival scheme.
GMI Developments has launched an appeal against the decision in which councillors went against officers’ advice and approved an alternative project for a Morrisons store.
In paperwork ahead of the appeal, GMI says it will show that the Morrisons scheme is “not currently deliverable”.
GMI wants the Planning Inspectorate to look at the refusal of a new supermarket and work space which was set to deliver 650 new jobs.
DB Schenker Rail (UK) applied with GMI to build Shipley Link, a superstore, cafe, petrol station, business units and rail depot on Otley Road. But the Council said no, instead voting for the Morrisons proposal for a store and residential development.
The appeal will set out a case for overturning the decision, saying the reasons for refusal are not justified.
And in contesting the delivery of an alternative, GMI says neither of two sites involved in its appeal “contain any barriers to development”.
“We will confirm that the application site is attractive to a main supermarket to deliver a scheme which will meet local retail and employment needs,” says the company.
In turning down the GMI scheme, the Council cited factors such as unacceptable access; extra traffic; loss of a rail freight siding and loss of a specialist metal recycling business.
A major bone of contention has concerned metal recycling firm Crossley Evans, which has occupied the site for 100 years. Before the plans were refused, DB Schenker told the company it had to be off the land by April. But the firm fought back with a public campaign and details of its own plan for a £6m renewable fuel scheme which would create 200 jobs on the site.
The GMI appeal will say businesses such as Crossley Evans are more suited to designated industrial areas. “Wider benefits in cleaning up an unsightly waste recycling operation at a key gateway site cannot be ignored,” says the company.
At its height, the battle involved three different schemes for a Shipley superstore. As well as the Crossley Evans plan, there was the ultimately successful Shipley Exchange project at Crag Road which will deliver a Morrisons store. But also in the equation was Airedale Mills, a Cardinal Shop Fitters site. This sought demolition of an existing building and creation of a store, car park and other works. This was also turned down.
The public inquiry into the appeal is unlikely to take place before summer.