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Inspector to rule in conversion plan
The firm behind plans to turn an empty jewellery store in Bradford city centre into a pawnbroker’s and instant cash-loan shop has taken its bid to an appeal.
When the planning application was submitted last year for 47a Kirkgate, the former Goldsmith Jewellers site, there were concerns that the city had more than its share of payday loan firms and pawnbrokers.
The application to Bradford Council to change the empty former jewellers from retail use to financial and professional services was refused in December due to the loss of a prominent retail site and the high number of such firms in the vicinity. But now the company behind the plans, Instant Cash Loans Ltd, has lodged an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
Council planners gave the following reason for turning the scheme down: “The proposal would not only result in the loss of a significant and visually prominent corner retail outlet, but would also introduce an additional non-retail unit in an area which already has a high concentration of similar uses. Both of these factors would adversely affect the attraction of Kirkgate, Darley Street and Bank Street to the shopping public, weakening the retail function of the shopping offer and consequently affecting pedestrian flows within the city centre.”
In October the Telegraph & Argus reported how there were fears that any more such firms opening up in the city’s shopping centre would kill off efforts to regenerate Bradford as a shopping hub and bring empty shops back into retail use.
At the time Chamber of Trade secretary Val Summerscales said: “We would not want to see that prominent corner being used for anything else other than retail – it’s a prime retail location and that’s how it should stay.”
A spokesman for the company behind the plans told the T&A that it wanted to open a Robert Biggar pawnbroker outlet because it believed there was a demand for its services. To comment on the appeal contact the Planning Inspectorate quoting reference APP/W4705/ A/13/2191714 by March 18, through planningportal. gov.uk/planning/appeals or by post at The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.