CLEARING away thousands of tons of waste materials found beneath a brownfield site is proving “extremely demanding”, according to the boss of a local development firm.

Skipton Properties is persevering with plans to build homes on the site off Crag Road, Shipley, despite the news that retail giant Morrisons no longer wants to build a supermarket as part of the scheme.

A tweaked planning application has now been submitted for 85 homes, including 54 starter homes.

Site clearance began last summer but workers have found many tons of materials - including asbestos - buried in the ground.

Managing director Brian Verity said: “The site has, so far, been extremely demanding. To give you a few facts, we have crushed over 60,000 tons of brick, concrete and masonry.

“We have removed over 100 tons of car tyres, over 140 tons of mixed plastic waste and over 20 tons of asbestos.

“All the materials removed from site have gone to specialised landfills and have been recycled where possible.

“To complete these works we have over a million pounds of specialised equipment on site and have done more than 6,000 man-hours of work in the last 4.5 months.

“We still have another six weeks until completion which will hopefully coincide with the approval of 85 family homes.”

Asked how the discovery of the tipped material might have affected the viability of the scheme, a spokesman for Skipton Properties said: "We were aware that the Crag Road site suffered from a range of development constraints, some of which could not have been fully anticipated until the current works were under way but some of which may not be as problematic as first anticipated. 

"It is probably too early to put a price on the overall effect that the cost of these and other enabling works may have on the viability of the whole scheme but this will be a matter that will be addressed as the planning application progresses. 

"It is our expectation that  the delivery of the first phase will go as planned since we have dealt with the ground conditions at an early stage."

The spokesman added: "Regarding Morrisons, we were disappointed when they withdrew as the scheme was developed to offer significant benefits to all the people of Shipley. 

"However, our new scheme will still offer a wide range of benefits."