A convenience store could move into a new unit at a shopping centre proposed for the derelict site of the former Savoy Cinema in Cleckheaton.

The owners, Berkshire-based developers Bastion House, are in talks with an unnamed High Street chain about opening a branch in the largest unit - 2,000 to 3,000sq ft - planned for the site in Bradford Road.

Planning permission has been granted for a further three shops for retailers and a 13-space car park on the land which is now so overgrown there are trees sprouting over the hoardings .

Rubbish has also been dumped on part of the site where some hoardings have been pulled out by vandals.

David Brackenridge, of Leeds-based chartered surveyors and property consultants Brackenridge, Hanson and Tate, the agents for the owners, said: "We are negotiating with a well-known High Street retailer about putting a convenience store on the Savoy site as an anchor to attract other retailers.

"It would be the type that is open early in the morning until late at night. We cannot reveal the identity of the company involved until we have completed the negotiations. We are also holding talks with other retailers about occupying the adjacent units."

Shopkeepers, residents and ward councillors continue to protest about the state of the rundown site. The cinema was demolished seven years ago and the land has been derelict since then.

They say the prominent plot, which faces the town hall, gives visitors a poor impression of Cleckheaton. Councillor Ann Raistrick (Lib Dem, Clk) said: "The land is now known locally as 'the bomb site' because it looks such a mess. Whenever the subject of Cleckheaton comes up the Savoy land is mentioned.

"The least that should be done is that the hoardings are taken down, the land cleared, filled in and grassed over until the owners start developing."

But Mr Brackenridge said: "It would cost too much to fill in the land and dig it up again to lay the foundations when work starts on the retail development."

Coun Raistrick also says the site should be bought by the Council through a compulsory purchase order.

But Roland Sansom, the Council's property and investment manager, said: "The land is quite valuable and we do not have the funding to buy it. For a compulsory purchase order we would have to prove the owners were making no attempt to develop the site."

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