Wrangles over the future of a proposed supermarket development in Shipley will further delay progress on the one project to which councillors gave overwhelming support, it has emerged.
Six months ago, planners gave permission for Morrisons to build on land at Crag Road on the Windhill side of the railway line, and they turned down a rival move to build an un-named supermarket on the Crossley Evans recycling site.
A similar proposal by Shipley shopfitting firm Cardinal was also rejected at the same time.
GMI Developments Ltd and their partners DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd and Network Rail have since appealed against the Bradford Council decision to refuse their plan and a six-day appeal chaired by a government inspector is due to take place on September 30.
They want to see a supermarket, cafe, petrol station, business units and rail maintenance depot on Otley Road and it has now emerged that Network Rail will not proceed with negotiations regarding other land it owns, which is earmarked to be part of the rival Morrisons development until the appeal process has ended.
And in a separate report to Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, which meets on Thursday, officers have included details of the inevitable delay: “Land the subject of this planning application is in multi-ownership including land in the ownership of Bradford Council. A proportion of the site is also in the ownership of Network Rail.”
Shipley MP Philip Davies was a keen opponent of the proposed development at Crossley Evans and said while he recognised the business reasons behind Network Rail’s decision, he hoped the appeal would be swiftly dealt with.
He said: “I am very supportive of the decision made by elected Bradford councillors in the best interests of the people of Shipley and I want to see that decision upheld at appeal.”
Chairman of Shipley Town Centre Business Partnership, Barry Cooper, said all that mattered was the getting the best result for the town.
“The longer it all drags out it makes investment and development in the town itself more difficult,” said jeweller Mr Cooper.
Morrisons declined to comment on the ongoing process and no-one was able to comment at GMI Developments Ltd.