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Retail units plan to generate jobs in Denholme
The future of one of Denholme’s biggest employment sites could be secure.
Whitakers Joinery in Halifax Road shut in 2009, leading to 50 job losses.
Owners Denholme Storage have since transformed the empty site into a number of small industrial and retail units, and it is one of the village’s biggest employers, with 25 people working there.
But the development has never been granted planning permission. Attempts to legalise the change of use earlier this year were turned down by planning officers, who called it a “wholly unacceptable development in this unsustainable green belt location”, and also raised the dangers of increased traffic.
The company submitted a revised planning application to divide the site into 30 units to Bradford Council in May.
The application asks for permission for general industrial, storage, retail, office usage and a canteen.
This time planning officers have recommended the businesses be allowed to remain on the 11,400 sq m site.
The company has said planning approval would lead to a £100,000 investment in the site, as well as safeguarding the existing jobs and creating new ones.
Businesses currently based there include a furniture showroom, lawnmower repair shop, car sales and MOT facility, bike repairs, conservatory manufacturer and steel fabricators.
The report into the application says: “The council is very mindful of the economic benefits of the creation of smaller business uses in this established former large general industrial site.
“The redevelopment of this site is considered a beneficial reuse of a formerly vacant building and visually unattractive site, which was increasingly falling into disrepair.”
It points out that during recent site visits, officers found business uses that are not part of the current application, including a cafe and dance school, but says the application will only be for uses the company has applied for.
Officers recommend that if approved, Denholme Storage should pay £7,000 for parking controls in Halifax Road and £3,250 for new road signs.
Denholme Town Council has said while it welcomes the site being developed, it has concerns about vehicle access and plans to have the site open seven days a week.
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