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Rivals attack new Shipley store proposals
Yesterday the T&A revealed how the multi-million-pound plan promised 580 jobs and £2 million improvements to the railway station and transport links among other benefits.
However two other schemes have already progressed down similar roads.
Cardinal shop fitters wants its Airedale Mills base, in Ives Street, to house a store so it can move to more modern premises. Its application is supported by many of its staff, who have written to Bradford Council.
Managing director Tim Considine said the appearance of Skipton Properties and Morrisons’ joint proposal for the old Perseverance Mill site just two weeks before planners were to rule on his own plans was “galling to say the least”.
“We are very surprised to hear about these new plans. Clearly they are in the very early stages with very little detail at this stage,” Mr Considine said.
Referring to the so-called “Shipley Exchange” site between Crag Road and the railway line he said: “The site is located outside the town centre with no direct links and would involve an unattractive walk between the site and the town centre.
“There are also significant changes in levels across the site which raises questions to the suitability of the site for a superstore development.
“We see no reason for any delay in determination of our application.
“As we have been saying for a long time we need clarity on our site. Our application has been in since January and since then the business has been in a state of limbo.
“We also need to safeguard the future for our 150 employees, the vast majority of which live in the local community. Our proposals will also create up to 250 new jobs in the new supermarket benefiting local residents.
“Given the nature and scale of the overall development envisaged we can’t see proposals formally progressing for some time yet,” he said.
“We still feel that we are the best location for a supermarket in Shipley.”
GMI developments were also anticipating their plan for the Crossley Evans recycling centre on Otley Road would be judged at the same time on September 23 – debates local councillors now want delayed.
Managing director Chris Gilman said: “We firmly believe that cleaning up and regenerating the scrapyard site is the best long-term solution for Shipley and would bring shoppers to the town centre itself.
“Of the three supermarket proposals unveiled to date, the scrapyard site is closest to the town centre, a factor of such critical importance that it underpins National Planning Policy and is one of the key recommendations in the retail review by Queen of Shops Mary Portas.
“The development of this site with three hours’ free parking will bring shoppers into Shipley town centre, helping to increase footfall and ‘urban buzz’ from which all other businesses will benefit.
“There is a huge amount of ‘before and after’ research which backs this up. In contrast, the emerging proposals by Skipton Properties will draw people away from the centre.
“We don’t believe that shoppers will park at this out-of-centre site and walk into the town.
“Our proposal will transform a contaminated gateway site, create up to 450 jobs and make a substantial investment in the surrounding area.”
Crossley Evans boss Matthew Evans said he would reserve judgement on the situation until he had viewed the detail.
“But it seems to strengthen the case for us to stay as the Morrisons site is much preferable to our site,” he said.
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