PLANS to expand an industrial park in Cleckheaton by adding small starter and mid range units have been lodged.

J26@M62 Ltd has applied to redevelop Brookside Works business park, Brick Street, Cleckheaton.

The site already contains several mid to large industrial shed units, dating from the early 1980s, which are all currently let.

The application seeks to increase the floorspace by 40 per cent, with a series of new buildings and domestic storage in ex-shipping containers.

A design and access statement submitted to Kirklees Council states: "The proposal represents an opportunity to further develop the site for employment use which will be sustainable, contribute to meeting local employment demand, whilst respecting the character of the surrounding landscape.

"It would provide a commercially attractive proposition predominantly for small scale and local occupiers, reducing travel time and delivering a sustainable business community.

"Brookside Works presents a fantastic opportunity to sensitively expand the already established commercial centre and ensure its future success and ongoing contribution to Cleckheaton."

The report adds: "The owners have a strong desire to further invest in this site and grow the business at this location.

"The proposed phased redevelopment will give the necessary confidence for this to happen.

"Whilst there are other planning considerations to be taken into account, in economic development terms this proposal will have a positive effect on business development and growth, wealth generation, employment creation and local economic performance."

It is envisaged that the development will target start-up, small and medium sized enterprises and satellite operations for larger companies. The application details how there is a very limited supply of modern space for this sector of the economy in Kirklees and the need for this type of space is increasingly important in the current economic climate.

It adds: "There is demand for flexible, affordable and attractive business premises to help companies of this type to grow and prosper.

"Without appropriate commercial space, companies will be forced to relocate, which is clearly a major risk area for more employer losses

from the borough."

As the plans are outlines, the scale of the development would be reserved for future approval.

The existing units are all approximately two storeys in height and some have mezzanine floors. The proposed units would be similar in height to enable them to attract a range of businesses, which may need racking, storage or their processes require additional height.

The target for a decision is the end of September.