A DEVELOPMENT that could bring new businesses and up to 250 jobs to Keighley town centre will be discussed by a planning committee next week.

Proposals to create new, more up to date commercial development on the Aire Valley Business Centre on Lawkholme Lane were first announced in 2019.

A full planning application for the site was submitted to Bradford Council earlier this year, and it claimed the work will “contribute to the comprehensive regeneration of Keighley.”

Next Thursday, Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee will decide on the plans for the 2.85 hectare site, and a report to members urges them to approve the scheme.

The site, in Keighley town centre, is the former Peter Blacks - once Keighley’s biggest employer.

Over the years a number of business units have been built on the site, but in their application for the full redevelopment of the site new owners Firloch say that many of the units are “dated” and not attractive to modern businesses.

Go-ahead sought for scheme to bring long-derelict Keighley site back into use

Work to demolish these older units was granted planning permission earlier this year. However, a heritage building on the site - Airedale Mill, will be retained.

The plans are for 11,232 square metres of business space on the site spread out over 34 buildings.

Although this would a reduction in the amount of business space on the site, the application said it would be of a much higher quality, and more attractive to potential tenants.

A report to the committee says: “The site would be much less developed than the previous collection of buildings and landscaping and boundary treatments could also help significantly improve the appearance and setting of the site within the wider area.

“The redevelopment presents an opportunity to improve the overall appearance of the site, with the development of a cohesive scheme to replace the rather fragmented approach to previous expansion(s).

“The retention of the original mill (Airedale Mill) is welcome and would help retain a strong frontage along Lawkholme Lane.”

The report goes on to say that the site will have to include electric vehicle charging points, adding: “A Clean Air Zone is due to come into force in some parts of the district from 2022 and is likely to increase the uptake of electric vehicles (particularly vans) in the district and may directly influence the types of vehicles used at this site in the future.

“As such, the developer will be encouraged to discuss the EV charging requirements with the Council’s Environmental Health team to ensure the site is developed appropriately.”

One condition of the approval would be that the developers create a travel plan that would set out how they will ensure low emissions from the site.