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Mixed view as Shipley superstore plans go on display
6:00am Friday 6th September 2013 in News
Hundreds of people attended a public exhibition to view newly-unveiled plans for a supermarket and housing development in Shipley.
Morrisons and builders Skipton Properties laid out their plans in full yesterday at Shipley Library, and a steady stream of residents were keen to see how this latest supermarket proposal stacked up against two existing plans.
The “Shipley Exchange” scheme offers 580 jobs plus £2 million improvements for Shipley rail station and road links including a new roundabout at a notorious bottleneck.
One key aspect which differentiates it from the Cardinal or Crossley Evans plans is that the Perseverance Mill site would include 94 new homes and a business quarter with offices, a cafe and restaurant. Architect Richard Merrills is a director of Watson Batty who have worked on projects with Morrisons for 30 years and was on hand to explain the Shipley Exchange.
“This is fascinating because of all the different aspects involved in the regeneration of what is a redundant site,” Mr Merrills said.
He said a traditional mix of brick and stone would be used. And one proposal is to demolish the old Carnegie Library on the corner of Leeds Road and Crag Road and rebuild it in the offices area near the station concourse.
“It’s a landmark, but it’s not a listed building so we could have just demolished it and crushed it – instead we’re going to re-site it in a prominent position,” Mr Merrills said.
He said replacing the existing junction with a roundabout would enable the roads to cope with an estimated maximum of 500 cars visiting Morrisons every hour at peak times.
“But that only ten per cent of that are direct visitors to the store, the rest of the cars are in the traffic system already — for example, people who will call in on their way to or from work,” he said. The Morrisons store itself will be of medium size with 29,000 sq ft retail space and including a customer cafe, toilets and 313 parking spaces.
Other benefits on offer include re-opening the pedestrian underpass to the town and a new footbridge over the railway, improved lighting at the station and dedicated woodland walks along Bradford Beck.
It will also provide a cycleway to link up with the Sustrans Bradford Canal Greenway bike route. But Barry Cooper, newly-appointed chairman of the Shipey Town Centre Partnership, said he could not see any real dividend for Shipley itself.
“I don’t see anything outside the boundary of the project that could lead to benefit for the town.”
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