A SCHEME to turn a former bank building in Cleckheaton into a pizza takeaway and coffee lounge has been given the go ahead.

The NatWest building on Bradford Road has been left empty since May 2018 when the branch closed.

Now the approval means local business Tarantino Pizza, which is currently based round the corner in Albion Street, can expand and diversify.

The building itself is a two-storey corner property, and according to documents submitted as part of planning bid to Kirklees Council, it had attracted to interest with its old planning use class.

Leeds-based Willow Properties (Yorkshire) submitted the change of use plans for the bank, with the upper floor to be used for business use.

It follows the sale of the building at auction last summer, for more than double its guide price. The 2,000 sq ft property, had a guide price of £75,000 when it went under the hammer at a property auction, selling for £166,000.

Willow Properties has confirmed to the T&A that it bought the property, with a view to redeveloping the site.

The firm has also confirmed that a suitable tenant has been found and has entered into a long term lease subject to gaining planning approval.

In the planning documents it states: “The new tenant proposes to relocate his existing business Tarantino Pizza currently based in Albion Street, Cleckheaton, to within the ground floor of the property.

“The business would offer hot food including pizza, pasta and burgers for takeaway and delivery. This part of the business would be entered from the north elevation via the existing entrance door.

“To help diversify the business it is proposed to include a coffee lounge to the area fronting Main Street. This would operate only during the day time with a new door access formed from the former original door opening on the corner of the building.”

It adds that the tenant has many years experience running this type of business and their existing business is “very well reviewed on social media”.

It is proposed that the business would be open from 11am to midnight Sunday to Thursday, and until 2am on Friday and Saturday.

The firm operates from its current premises, opening from 5pm onwards.

In order to convert the ground floor, the work required involves minor external alterations, including sand blasting and cleaning the existing facade, replacement of the existing windows and doors and forming two new access doors from existing openings.

A full internal refurbishment of the ground floor would also be required, and a fit-out for the Tarantino Pizza operation.

The first floor layout would remain the same, although a separate external doorway would be created.

The offices would be let separately.

Willow Properties (Yorkshire) is the firm behind the renovations of the nearby shopping arcade in Cleckheaton, which is being renamed Victoria Court.

The commercial property firm has committed £2.5m to the upgrade of the old 1970s Central Arcade with work including a replacement roof and stone cladding to the elevations to Cheapside and Market Street.

Other works include new signage, windows and the replacement of all the shop fronts externally and within the arcade.