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580 jobs pledge in store and homes plan for Shipley
A multi-million pound retail and housing development involving Bradford supermarket giant Morrisons could bring 580 new jobs to the district.
The proposal, for a sprawling site in Shipley, would include a £2 million overhaul of the town’s railway station and transport links, and involve dismantling the Carnegie Library at Windhill and re-building it near the planned store.
But the news caused instant confusion over two other proposed supermarket schemes due to be decided next month.
Dubbed the “Shipley Exchange,” the new proposal for a site between Crag Road and the railway line has been unveiled by Skipton Properties, working in conjunction with Morrisons.
Planned for the old Perseverance Mill site, it promises 400 permanent jobs plus another 180 during the construction phase, together with 94 new homes and the bonus of 100 new parking spaces for Shipley station.
But the announcement has shaken up scrutiny of existing supermarket schemes earmarked for the Crossley Evans recycling site and also shopfitters Cardinal at Airedale Mills – which are due to be decided by Council planners on September 23.
The new plan is for a medium sized Morrisons and petrol station which will employ 250 permanent staff plus 100 jobs in the site’s commercial quarter plus 50 jobs at built-in restaurants.
Morrisons’ spokesman Richard Bakes said last night: “We are delighted to have signed up on this opportunity for Shipley.
“Importantly, a mixed-use scheme anchored by Morrisons will secure delivery of the infrastructure improvements required for the whole scheme.
“This will include over £2 million of investment to upgrade Shipley Station, increase capacity on local roads and improve cycle and pedestrian linkages.”
Part of that improvement includes providing a section of new cycleway to link up with Bradford Council’s planned bike route along the Canal Road corridor.
Road junction improvements will also mean the dramatic demolition and rebuilding of Shipley’s landmark Carnegie Library.
Mr Bakes said: “A key consideration is to relocate the Carnegie Library building in order to implement the significant highway improvements needed to increase capacity on local roads for the benefit of the whole of Shipley.
“We recognise the local importance of this building and this is why we are working closely with its owner to dismantle and relocate it next to the station concourse.”
Brian Verity of Skipton Properties said: “This is a major scheme that will bring investment into the centre of Shipley, representing a massive boost to the local economy.”
Shipley MP Philip Davies said he would have to study the proposals in detail before giving his verdict and had already arranged to meet the developers. He said: “However I am always pleased when people see the potential in Shipley and want to invest in the town.
“One thing is it seems to be sufficiently important to prevent the Council ploughing on with the Crossley Evans site.”
Shipley councillor Martin Love said he was stunned by the sudden appearance of this new scheme.
He said: “It’s very confusing the way this has been done and makes things very awkward. Surely they could have indicated this was underway two or three months earlier. Now it could take several months for officers to scrutinise these new plans.”
But Windhill and Wrose councillor Vanda Greenwood (Lab) described it as “fantastic news”.
She said: “It seems a really good scheme. It could solve traffic problems down at the Carnegie Library junction and provide work for local people - which will be our priority.”
She said there should be a pause in the planning progress of the other two supermarkets. She said: “We now want all the three supermarket schemes to be heard together.”
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