A DEVELOPER has “profusely apologised” to Councillors after mistakenly claiming they had been looking at the wrong documents when they were debating a major planning application.

Bradford Council’s Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel were due to decide on plans to demolish the former Haworth Fire Station and build a Co-Op in its place at a meeting last month.

But the meeting was dramatically halted after David Brackenridge, from applicants Dalehead Properties, told Councillors they had been debating the wrong plans for almost 40 minutes.

The plans had been projected onto a large screen in the Council chamber.

The panel deferred the decision for a future meeting to make sure they were looking at the correct information. Chair Councillor Doreen Lee (Lab, Keighley East) said they would “look like bloody idiots” if they made a decision based on the wrong plans.

The item went before the panel again when they met yesterday.

Decision on Co-op plan deferred after councillors look at WRONG plans

At this meeting Mr Brackenridge told members he had wrongly accused them of looking at the wrong plans.

He said: “I want to profusely apologise for my mistake. I was sitting in the wrong location in the chamber and it looked like bits had been cut off the plan. I was also very nervous. I’m sorry to all concerned.”

As well as delaying the development by a month, the misunderstanding also meant that the panel had to hear the details of the application in full again.

The fire station, at the junction of Bridgehouse Lane and Station Road, shut in 2014, and the application to build a convenience store in its place was submitted last year.

38 people had written to the Council in support of the plans, but 13 people had objected to them, raising concerns over highway safety.

One of the objectors was the Spar group - there is a Spar store further down the road. David Wallbank from Spar spoke at the meeting, raising concerns including how delivery vans would safely access the Co-Op site.

Mr Brackenridge said: “This will regenerate a brownfield site. There is a an undersupply of food provision in Haworth - this store will help prevent people travelling out of Haworth to go shopping. It will create 20 jobs.”

He said there would also be a picnic area behind the store, and a viewing area for the Keighley Worth Valley Railway - and the railway was supportive of the plan. He said the new Co-Op could help reduce illegal parking on double yellow lines outside the Spar store and dismissed other complaints from Spar, saying: “They want to maintain a monopoly in Haworth.”

Some Councillors raised concerns about road safety around the site, pointing out that Bridgehouse Lane, a key road leading to the site, only had a pavement at one side.

The development will include a new zebra crossing and new pavement at the front of the store.

Councillors listened to the applicant and highways officers and agreed their concerns had been mitigated. They then agreed to approve the plans, with Cllr Lee saying: “Competition can be healthy for everyone.”