A SECOND attempt to flatted a social club in Holme Wood and build shops in its place has been submitted to Bradford Council.

As with the previous attempt, the scheme would see Holme Wood Social Club on Broadstone Way demolished to make way for a Heron Food store.

However, while the previous application also included another three smaller stores on the same site - this latest application, by Crag Investments, is only for the Heron store.

Plans to demolish the club to redevelop the site date back to early 2020, and have proved to be one of the most convoluted Bradford planning sagas in recent history.

The application was originally approved by members of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee in June 2020.

But in an unusual step, the committee were asked to re-assess their decision after then Tong Councillor Michael Johnson raised concerns that members had not taken into account the Tong and Holme Wood Neighbourhood plan - a document dating back to 2012 that planned out future development and regeneration of the area.

£1.4m works to Holme Wood facility will 'increase opportunities' for residents

When the application was discussed a second time, members opted to refuse the plans, saying the development would have a negative impact on Holme Wood’s existing shops.

That decision went to appeal, with Crag Investments arguing that there was nothing in the neighbourhood plan that would prevent a retail development from being built on the site.

This February Government appointed Planning Inspector Graham Wraight dismissed the appeal, suggesting there was not enough detail in the application on whether other sites had been considered for the development, and what the impact would be on existing stores.

The new application retains the Heron Foods, which will be 402 square metres, but the rest of the site would be a car park - accessed via Sterling Crescent.

The application says the store is a suitable development for the area, and that there is currently a lack of choice for local shoppers. It says many “shop further afield” for their food shop.

The application points out that the neighbourhood plan has identified the social club site as “a key development opportunity.”

Referring to the existing retail offer in Holme Wood, the application says: “The shop fronts do not have a well maintained appearance.”

It says there are “a number of empty units” and adds: “The largest area is occupied by charitable organizations operating mainly behind closed security shutters so offer little vitality to the area.”

It says the Heron development will create four full time and 10 part time jobs, and open from 8am to 8pm. The on site car park will have space for 30 cars, as well as motorcycle and cycle spaces.

The application says the Holme Wood area is earmarked for hundreds of homes in the coming years, and the new store would be an important facility for those new residents.

It adds: “The proposal is appropriate in principle, making use of a previously developed site within the urban area. The addition of a food store serving a wide range of basic items excluding alcohol at competitive prices would attract those people who currently shop further afield because the current retail offer lacks choice.”

A decision on the application is expected in November.