COUNCILLORS have approved plans to turn a former mill into housing – despite concerns over a lack of parking at the site.

On Thursday members of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee approved a scheme to turn Carlton Mills in Haworth into four, two bed back-to-back homes.

The mill has been vacant for a number of years, and earlier this year Taylor Roche Ltd revealed their plans to adapt the building to create houses.

The houses, like other homes on the street, would not have off street parking spaces.

22 people had objected to the plan, raising concern over the impact four new homes would have on a street where existing residents struggle to find a parking space.

But members of the committee were told that it would be difficult to justify refusing the plan due to a lack of parking, as the building could theoretically be brought back into industrial use at any time.

Plans to turn mill next to Haworth weaving factory into flats is approved

Members were discussing the application at an online meeting on Thursday.

Planning officer Andrew Moxon told members: “Objectors have raised concerns that increasing housing on the road will inevitably increase parking requirements in an area that already struggles to accommodate parking.”

However – he pointed out that in planning terms the building is still classed as industrial. If a company were to re-open the mill, this could lead to much worse traffic than four, two-bed homes. He said: “A commercial business could have vehicles much bigger than normal cars, and these could end up parking on the road.”

John Rowley, Principal Engineer, said: “ You wouldn’t expect a business with 40 tonne HGVs, but you might get one with seven tonne light goods vehicles.”

Rebecca Poulsen (Cons, Worth Valley) spoke on behalf of the objectors. She said: “Two of these properties will have no parking at all. Parking for them would have to be on Prince Street or Victoria Road where existing residents are struggling to park.

“For the other two, parking would be on Carlton Street, where parking is also at a premium.

“Only last night I had a call from a resident who said she had come back from work and found there wasn’t a single place for her to park. She had to drive around and find a space in another street.

“It causes a lot of tension between residents – people park where they can. Four new properties in a congested area really isn’t helpful.”

Councillor Zafar Ali (Cons, Keighley Central) said: “I am extremely concerned about the parking situation. I’m not sure how we are going to resolve it.”

Council Legal Officer Bob Power pointing out that refusing the plans based on a lack of parking would be difficult to defend on appeal. He said: “Refusing this scheme on highways grounds would be extremely difficult to sustain. Any planning inspector would look at the building’s existing use and what parking that could generate. They would argue that it would be more problematic for parking than this homes proposal.”

Councillor Paul Godwin (Lab, Keighley West) said: “The difficult thing is we are very strict on new development with parking requirements, but today when we’re discussing this site we’re told we can’t really take it into account.

“There should be better parking, but because of the precedent on this street I can’t see how we can insist on it.

Members then voted to approve the plan.

A previous application for the site was approved in 2011.

That would have seen the mill demolished and three houses built in its place.

However that development never went ahead.