CONTROVERSIAL plans to fill in a popular fishing pond and demolish warehouses and offices to build a new supermarket and retail park have been submitted to Bradford Council.

The plan, at Union Mills in Harrogate Road, Eccleshill, has been criticised by a local Councillor and local residents, with fears raised around the loss of local businesses and extra stresses placed on roads.

The buildings on the site, a mixture of single-storey offices and large warehouses, are currently occupied by a selection of small retailers including a carpet and bed warehouse, lighting store, and office furniture retailer.

Behind the buildings is a large mill pond, known locally as Pilley’s Dam, which is a popular fishing spot.

The plans have been met with opposition from residents, who claim the site is well used by anglers and is also a haven for wildlife.

If successful, the application will see a new Lidl supermarket constructed on the site, along with six smaller retail units and 244 car parking spaces.

To accommodate the development, the mill pond will have to be drained and filled in.

Councillor Brendan Stubbs (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) said he has some concerns about the development, and is urging people to get involved in the consultation to make sure their voices are heard.

He said: “My first concern is the loss of the mill pond, it has lots of carp and is well used by anglers.

“It has a lot of wildlife around it and by building this new retail park all that wildlife will disappear.

“Secondly, there are a lot of empty retail units nearby in places like Greengates and Thornbury.

“This would force existing businesses to relocate just to create more retail units we don’t need as there is already the space available, so I will be pushing the planners to explain why we need these new units.

“Finally, we all know how bad traffic can get on Harrogate Road. If you combine all the new houses being built with all the cars that would visit this site everyday, you could be looking at an extra 1,000 cars a day.

“There is also no crossing for pedestrians included in the plans, I would not feel safe taking my children across Harrogate Road to visit the site without a crossing.

“The problem is we just build stuff but do not build the community infrastructure that is needed alongside it; this has not been taken into account.

“I would urge everyone to comment on this proposal to ensure their voice is heard.”

Graham Burr, Lidl UK’s regional head of property, added: “We are delighted to announce that we have submitted a planning application with Bradford Council.

“If granted, this would mark a multi-million pound investment in the area and the creation of new jobs when the store opens.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support and feedback so far and look forward to receiving the decision in due course.”

Public consultation on the application is open until Friday, September 1, and to comment visit the Council’s planning website or write to the Planning Service at Britannia House, Hall Ings, BD1 1HX, quoting application number 17/04007/MAF.