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Shipley store wars appear to be over
8:19am Wednesday 25th June 2014 in News
Workers at a Shipley recycling business are celebrating after the sudden collapse of a bid to build a supermarket on the century-old Crossley Evans site.
News broke yesterday that GMI Developments had aborted two appeals against Bradford Council planners' refusal to permit the Otley Road scheme.
Councillor Mike Ellis, who sat on the panel which went against officer's recommendation, was due to speak at the planning inspectorate appeal scheduled for September.
But he got an early morning email to say GMI, together with partners Network Rail and DB Schenker (Rail) UK, had pulled out of the process.
"We saw fit to go against the officers and I'm absolutely delighted as it preserves existing jobs," Cllr Ellis said.
When the T&A told Crossley Evans' boss Matthew Evans that the threat of development had been lifted, he described the news as "tremendous."
He said: "We are very pleased to hear that GMI and their partners are withdrawing their appeal.
"The threat to the jobs on our sites and the proud heritage of recycling we have in Shipley has been a significant burden and one that has had an impact on every member of our staff and even our suppliers and customers.
"This welcome news now allows us to refocus on our investment in the local community and our ambitious plans to introduce more advanced recycling systems.
"We would like to thank the community within Shipley and the wider area for their unwavering support."
Shipley MP Philip Davies said: "This is absolutely brilliant news for Shipley and for the workers at Crossley Evans.
"And I must say it's refreshing to see developers respect the views of a planning committee and the people - GMI and their partners have done the right thing."
Ward councillor for Shipley Martin Love said he was happy jobs were now safe and hoped Crossley Evans would now proceed with increased recycling projects.
Shipley traders' spokesman Barry Cooper said he was glad the wrangles had ended and said: "We look forward to how Morrisons will now come in and help the town."
Morrisons' plans for a new store with mixed commercial and housing in partnership with Skipton Properties on the Crag Road site has been impeded by Network Rail's decision not to sell needed land until after the GMI appeal had been resolved.
Chris Gilman, managing director of GMI Developments, said; “We have a long and successful relationship with Bradford Council and whilst naturally disappointed that on this occasion, our scheme which had the clear support from all the external consultants who recognised its numerous and far-reaching benefits, was not supported by members, we respect their decision.
"We understand that our partner Network Rail intends to make the necessary land available to the Council thus enabling the alternative scheme to progress.
"We do however remain firmly committed to continuing our contribution to the regeneration of the whole Bradford area through delivering high quality sustainable developments and we look forward to embarking on future projects within the district," Mr Gilman said.