A SUPERMARKET giant has revealed it has scrapped its controversial plans to convert a pub into a convenience store.

Tesco supermarket had applied to make alterations to the Royal Oak, in Mill Hey, Haworth, to allow it to accommodate a Tesco Express store.

However, Bradford Council officers last week turned down the plans, citing the need for a survey to establish whether the development would harm bat habitats.

This was a second setback for Tesco, as an earlier application by the business to install a cash machine in one of the Royal Oak's windows was thrown out by planners in October.

Reacting to the refusal, a Tesco spokesman said: “After reviewing our options we have decided not to proceed with our plans to open a new convenience store in Haworth.

"We are very proud of our stores across Bradford and West Yorkshire and look forward to serving local people for many years to come.”

Explaining its latest decision to reject the application for alterations to the Royal Oak, a Bradford Council planning officer stated: "The proposals involve the demolition and alteration of parts of a building with high potential to provide habitat for a protected species – bats.

"There is, however, no reliable assessment accompanying this application of the potential of the building to contain habitat for bats or bat roosts and insufficient information to convince us that harm to a protected species from the development can be avoided or mitigated."

Responding to Tesco's confirmation that it would not pursue its plans any further, Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council chairman, councillor John Huxley said: "On the one hand it's a relief because I don't think that site was suitable for a convenience store.

"It's on a bad bend, there's not much parking, and it would have cost us a pub.


"On the other hand I very much regret Tesco's decision, because I think there are other better sites at the top end of the village which would have certainly benefited from having a convenience store and a free-to-use cash machine."

Worth Valley ward councillor Rebecca Poulsen said: "This will be reassuring to residents who've been so concerned about the proposal to turn the Royal Oak into a Tesco.

"The overwhelming majority of people in the village were against the application.

"I think there are still conversations to be had about facilities at the top end of the village. Some residents have said they would be in favour of some sort of convenience store there."

Coun Barry Thorne, chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council's planning committee, welcomed Tesco's announcement.

"It's better than them blighting that corner and making it dangerous for members of the public," he added. "I'm glad they've seen sense. It's an odd place to put a convenience store, and I'd like the Royal Oak to remain a pub."