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Former shoe firm could become 80 new homes
The owners of the Barratts Priceless shoe business headquarters at Apperley Bridge, have applied for planning permission to redevelop the site for canal-side housing.
Town Centre Securities, the Leeds-based property company which bought the site last year, wants to develop 80 homes of between two, three, four and five bedrooms on the side of the Leeds-Liverpool canal and also facing onto Harrogate Road.
The site is currently occupied by the BPL head office, but only 185 people now work there compared with 400 five years ago. BPL says the 6.8 acre site no longer fulfils its requirements as it now services only 90 stores compared with 400 in 2008.
Following a second buy-out of the business from the administrators, BPL boss Michael Ziff said he intended to relocate from its long-standing base to a smaller head office site but that BPL would remain in the area.
Town Centre Securities, which paid around £1.3 million for the site, said the housing scheme would regenerate an under-used industrial site, where offices and warehouses were ‘extremely dated’ and increasingly costly to maintain, improve the character and appearance of the area through private sector investment and boost the local economy.
The outline planning proposal says the canalside would be landscaped and public access created. In a bid to discourage anti-social behaviour, the application says communal parking areas will be avoided and instead garages will be sited behind the main building line.
The application states: “Detailed and careful consideration has been given to the proposed layout. The proposals create a development that not only respects the site and its surroundings but also creates a high quality development in this location that enhances the character of the area.”
The planning document said there was now a “clear development opportunity” for the Barratts site, some of which is located within the Leeds Liverpool Canal Conservation Area.
The Apperley Bridge site is the long-standing base of Barratts, and is currently the head office of Barratts Trading Limited, which operates the Barratts and Priceless shoe chains. Its boss, Michael Ziff, secured a last-minute deal to rescue the business for a second time in December, 2011 after it went into administration.
The deal included buying 89 Barratts Priceless shops and the e-commerce business from adminis-trator Deloitte for an undisclosed sum and saved around 1,000 jobs.
But it also meant the closure of a further 50 stores following 1,600 job losses when the business went into administration.