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Morrisons ‘homes’ plan wins Shipley's store wars
Bradford councillors yesterday approved the company’s application, submitted in accordance with Skipton Properties, for a superstore, petrol station, business units and 101 houses off Crag Road, which will be called Shipley Exchange.
The decision – greeted with cheers and applause by about 40 members of the public gathered in Shipley Library – was made at a special two-day meeting of the Council’s regulatory and appeals committee, but it is subject to conditions and Government ratification.
The proposal had been recommended for refusal by Bradford Council officers.
Brian Verity, managing director of Skipton Properties, was delighted by the decision.
He said: “I feel elated. I really do feel that it is a start of a new era for Shipley – it is a game-changer. Commonsense has prevailed – I am really pleased.”
Members of the committee praised the Shipley Exchange scheme, which also involves dismantling and moving the Carnegie library building, as an “exciting” proposal.
Councillor Jackie Whiteley (Con, Wharfedale) said: “I like the housing, the roundabout, the rebuilding of the library, that it is out of the town centre, the relief road, and that it is a named supermarket that has already signed up.”
Committee chairman, Councillor David Warburton, said: “There will be additional parking for the station, which is becoming more and more a hub.”
Two other applications by Cardinal Shop Fitters, based at Airedale Mills, and GMI, which wanted to redevelop the site occupied by recycling firm, Crossley Evans, were rejected by councillors.
The GMI scheme for Otley Road was the preferred choice of Council officers, but it was pulled apart by councillors on the committee yesterday, who bemoaned a likely increase in traffic in Otley Road, the loss of the Crossley Evans recycling plant and a railway link, displacement of jobs elsewhere, and concerns about water, electricity and sewerage.
Matthew Evans, boss at Crossley Evans – which would have to move if the Otley Road scheme had got the go-ahead – said: “We are very pleased to say the least. It is a fantastic result for us and, I hope, for Shipley as well.
“The level of support we have had has been absolutely mind-blowing.”
Reacting to councillors’ criticism of the GMI plan, Mr Evans said: “I was delighted. I think they took a pragmatic approach and came to a sensible conclusion.”
James Marshall, of Commercial Development Projects, which was involved in the Cardinal scheme, said: “We are disappointed with the decision. We will now look at different options as to where we go from here.”
Chris Gilman, managing director of GMI Developments, said: “In attempting to make the more popular decision over the right one for Shipley, the Council has left itself wide open to challenge and we are fully committed to appealing this decision.”
Morrisons development executive Richard Bakes said: “We are pleased that members have approved our joint application and will work with council officers to finalise the details.”
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