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Keighley store hit by arson to be re-built
A store which was demolished after being wrecked in an arson attack could rise from the ashes under new plans submitted to Bradford Council.
Police have still not caught those responsible for burning down the former Poundstretcher store at the Cavendish Retail Park in Keighley, more than a year after a blaze devastated the shop – causing £500,000 of damage.
Now, sportswear company Sports Direct, has put in an application to planners at the local authority to build a “like-for-like” replacement building on the footprint of the former store.
Bradford Councillor Khadim Hussain, a Labour Councillor for Keighley Central, welcomed the new plans.
He said: “Regeneration is key for us as councillors and any investment, which could bring jobs is welcome.
“This may mean more business and more employment opportunities to help the town, where unemployment is high at the moment.”
Poundstretcher, which had been one of the major retailers at the park in Cavendish Street, was destroyed by arsonists in May last year.
The remains of the building were so unsafe they had to be demolished, and the plot has since been left vacant.
A report to the Council by Warrington-based Cube, agents for the sportswear company, said: “The aim is to replace the retail unit, which has now been demolished as a result of fire damage, with a new unit, divided into two with a mezzanine floor, using the existing floor space.
“The surrounding area already contains a large amount of retail space. This development should not have an adverse affect on the people in the locality, as the proposed use of the space is in keeping with the surrounding area.”
It also said that access for goods vehicles will be from Fleece Street, off East Parade.
Anthony Derbyshire, a spokesman for Sports Direct said, if planning permission is granted, the sportswear company would move into one half of the new building, with another retailer filling the remaining space. He said three other companies had expressed an interest in moving into the current unit occupied by Sports Direct.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested and in connection with the incident, then released on bail. However, a spokesman for Airedale and North Bradford Police confirmed Planners at Bradford Council are expected to make a decision on the new store in the next few weeks.