Developers have re-opened the battle to build supermarkets in Shipley by formally lodging an appeal against Bradford Council’s rejection of plans for the Crossley Evans recycling site.

DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd applied with GMI Developments to build Shipley Link – a supermarket, cafe, petrol station, business units and rail maintenance depot on Otley Road, but the plans were turned down in December.

But councillors went against planning officers’ advice and instead voted for a proposal from Morrisons for a store and residential development.

Before the plans were refused, DB Schenker served notice on metal recycling firm Crossley Evans, saying it wanted them out by April.

But the recycling firm fought against the threat to its home of 100 years, with a public campaign galvanising support and by revealing details of its own £6 million renewable fuel plan, which could create 200 jobs on the site.

Yesterday, GMI Developments Ltd, along with partners Network Rail and DB Schenker (Rail) UK, appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against the Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the creation of a new supermarket and work space, which was set to deliver 650 new, permanent jobs to the town.

Chris Gilman, Managing Director of GMI Developments, said: “We remain resolute that this proposal is the best long-term solution for Shipley.

“Given the planning officers’ initial recommendation for approval and the firm support from the Council’s independent consultants, we are confident that we have a strong case and we have committed the time and resources to running our appeal.

“Various independent studies conclude unequivocally that Shipley Link is the only site which will benefit the town centre.

“The new Super Crossing, the free parking and improved linkages will all bring shoppers into town.”

Matthew Evans, boss of Crossley Evans, said how he and his staff were “proud to be a part of the Shipley community,” and were sure Bradford Council’s decision was “inevitable and correct.”

“We were overwhelmed with support throughout the planning application by GMI for a supermarket in place of our recycling facility and pleased that a panel of councillors representing all parties reached a unanimous conclusion to reject that planning application. We fail to see any merit in the appeal lodged by GMI,” Mr Evans said.

The appeal is expected to be heard at a public inquiry, starting in the summer.