A NEW private hire booking office in Keighley town centre would “cause substantial harm” to the character of a derelict mill – according to planning officers.

The office, which would have been built on Gresley Road, near the town’s Aldi, would have been for a local private hire firm that is currently operating out of rented accommodation.

The application said it was an ideal spot for the business, as it is also near Keighley College and Asda.

The application said: “The Applicant seeks to capitalise on this location whilst providing a vital local service for residents and visitors to the town.”

But planning officers pointed out that it is also next to Grade II listed Old Cotton Mill, which is currently derelict.

Officers criticised the plans for making no mention of the listed building that would be just yards from the office.

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Officers said: “It is acknowledged that the Old Cotton Mill is in a derelict condition and is a listed building at risk.

“However, a two storey building which intrudes into key views of the building from the approach road and which would diminish its setting is likely to be prejudicial to any future regeneration prospects for the listed building.

“The proposal does not acknowledge or even make reference to the proximity of the Old Cotton Mill.

“There is no Heritage Statement in relation to the proposal and no justification for the impact of the new building on the heritage asset.

“The proposed development would cause substantial harm to the character and setting of the adjacent Grade II* Old Cotton Mill listed building due to its proposed position, height and appearance.”

Officers also raised concerns about the highways impacts of the office building, saying: “The private hire booking office would intensify vehicle movements and interfere with the flow of vehicles that would use the junction at Gresley Road and the adjacent supermarket car park.”