A HUGE redevelopment for a Keighley site, which could bring 250 jobs to the town centre, has been given the go ahead by Councillors.

Earlier this year plans to flatten much of the Aire Valley Business Park off Lawkholme Lane were approved by Bradford Council.

The work was the first step in a scheme to revitalise the site.

Now an application to build 35 modern business units on the prominent plot of land have been approved by Bradford Council's Regulatory and Appeals Committee.

The development will actually see a reduction of employment space on the 2.85 hectare site - going from 31,500 square metres of floor space to 11,232 square metres.

However, the previous site was described as "dated" and unattractive to businesses. The new development would be much more likely to attract tenants, according to applicants Firloch Ltd.

The existing mill building on the site is the only building that will be retained in the new scheme.

Unusually for a development of this size, there had been no objections submitted to Bradford Council.

A report to the Regulatory and Appeals Committee recommended the plans be approved.

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The site was once home to Peter Blacks. The company was founded in the 1940s, using old army webbing to make shopping bags, and went on to employ more than 1,000 workers.

The firm grew to be one of Marks & Spencer’s leading suppliers, but by the 1990s times were changing in Black’s key markets, with the footwear business particularly affected by evolving tastes and cheap foreign imports.

The name disappeared from Keighley in 2012 when parent company Li & Fung decided to move its remaining 62 workers to Manchester.

Members would be told there will be two entrances to the new development, one from Lawkholme Lane and the othher from Alice Street.

Sophie Williams, a town planner for Savilles, described the pre-demolition site as an "inefficient layout of buildings that didn't attract tenants."

She added: "The site has been cleared and we plan to replace these dated buildings with fit for purposes space.

"It will bring 250 jobs and create more in the supply chain and during construction."

Councillor Russell Brown (Cons, Worth Valley) said: "It is quite a big reduction in factory space. it would be nice if they could fit a few more small starter units in them. Keighley is crying out for something like that."

Councillor Doreen Lee (Lab, Keighley East) pointed out that the junction of Alice Street and North Street, which would likely be used by some traffic entering the site, was one of the town's busiest. She asked if the developer could work to improve this junction.

Chair Councillor David Warburton ( Lab, Wyke) said the area would be further changed once a new public service hub is built on the former Keighley College site on North Street.

He suggested the Keighley Area Committee look at the junction and how it could be improved to take into account both developments.

The committee unanimously approved the plans.