A FORMER mill site recently touted as the location of a major industrial development could instead be filled with shipping containers to be used by a self-storage business.

Twenty4 Secure Storage, which operates a large self-storage site in Leeds, has submitted a planning application for a similar site in Bradford, on Factory Street, off Tong Street.

If approved the business would be based on the site of the former Ackroyds mill, also known as Ben Hillas.

The mill was ravaged by fire in late 2011 and demolished the following year.

The site has remained empty ever since, and over the years became a hot spot for fly-tipping.

In 2021 plans to transform the land into a new industrial development were approved by Bradford Council.

The application by S&W Properties would have seen 15 light industrial units built on the site.

Each unit would be 150 square metres or smaller, and the development would include parking for 34 cars.

The applicants said the industrial development would create 30 jobs, as well as bringing a prominent, long empty site back into use.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The former mill site off Factory StreetThe former mill site off Factory Street (Image: newsquest)

Their application said: “To replace the now derelict land with a modern estate of light industrial units will improve the area dramatically.”

Although the site has since been fenced off, the industrial development has not started.

The new application says: “Development of the site for self-storage purposes will provide for local residents and, significantly, local commercial operations.

“The purpose of using shipping containers is due to the ease of handling and relocation within the site to accommodate changing needs of users and the business.

“On opening, it is anticipated based on market evidence of the applicant’s other businesses that 10 shipping containers would be located on the site to meet initial demand, by year three it is anticipated that the site will be at capacity.

“Shipping containers will be relocated within the site to meet the loading and unloading needs of customers.

“The proposed development will provide a self-storage facility to meet identified demand in the south Bradford area meeting spatial priorities, including supporting ‘Enhancing the role of Bradford within the wider Leeds City Region as an important business location’.”

Referring to the proximity to the neighbouring Grade II-listed former cinema, now used as a carpet store, the application says the development would “improve the setting of the heritage asset from the current negative appearance". 

A decision on the application is expected next month.