PLANS for a £19 million plan to transform an empty Bradford site into an “enterprise zone” have been approved.

The Parry Lane site was the former headquarters for Yorkshire Energy, but has been vacant for over eight years.

The land has been eyed as the location for a major employment development for a number of years, with around £8 million of the funding being provided by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The Government also recently announced a major boost for the plans, pledging to grant million so the development could boost Bradford’s post lockdown economy.

It was one of several “shovel ready” projects in West Yorkshire the Government announced funding for.

It is predicted that the development, when all the units are complete, could bring around 500 jobs to the area.

Now a planning application to create 25,000 square metres of employment space on the site has been approved by Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee.

First two employment buildings at Gain Lane enterprise zone site approved

Members were told that the application before them was just for the principle of the development – to build 10 units on the land, and the access.

More detailed applications for the individual units within the enterprise zone, and where on site they would be located, would be submitted in future.

Planning officer Malcolm Joy said a cafe/take away was originally included in the plans, but that this has since been dropped.

Members were told that the businesses would have been akin to a Costa drive thru, and that if such a business was to be added to the site in future, it would need a full planning application.

Access to the site will be through a new link road between the Sticker Lane/Broad Lane and Lower Lane/Parry Lane junctions.

A new traffic light controlled junction will be added to Sticker Lane and will be staggered with Broad Lane.

The development site will be accessed from this new link road and also an amended Parry Lane.

The development will also include the creation of a four metre wide central verge 170 metres from the new Parry Lane/Link Road junction. And the existing “substandard” section of Parry Lane from Sticker Lane to Lower Lane will be made one way from Sticker Lane with a new priority junction with the proposed link road.

New traffic orders would be introduced on Parry Lane, Lower Lane, the new link road and on Sticker Lane between the new link road junction and the existing Parry Lane junction to prevent people parking near the entrance to the site.

Councils Alan Wainwright (Lab, Tong) pointed out that the site was near Dudley Hill Rugby Club, which attracted big crowds during matches. He questioned if these highway changes would prevent spectators from parking near the grounds.

In response, Principal Engineer John Rowley pointed out that the road changes would lead to an overall improvement in traffic around the site. He said: “Nobody has the right to park where they want on the highway.”

Paraphrasing Star Trek icon Spock, he said: “The needs of the many are greater than the needs of the few.

“For 90 per cent of the time this is a road without vehicles parked on it. These traffic orders for a short section were seen to be a betterment overall than leaving it as it is because someone wishes to park there occasionally.”

Chair of the Committee Councillor David Warburton (Lab, Wyke) said: “I’m happy to recommend this for approval. It is a good use of brownfield industrial site.

“It is quite a built up, industrial area, so it is good news if they can re-develop this.”

Councillor Alan Wainwright (Lab, Tong) said: “It has been an eyesore since the old buildings were torn down.”

Members then approve the application.

The site will be one of three enterprise zones in Bradford.

Work on the first, at Gain Lane, Thornbury, began last year.

The other zone will be at an 8.5 hectare site at Staithgate Lane, near the Euroway Trading Estate.