Habasit Rossi Limited wants to demolish premises and build on fields site

Keighley News: Habasit Rossi managing director Richard Smith stands at the site earmarked for the firm's new factory Buy this photo » Habasit Rossi managing director Richard Smith stands at the site earmarked for the firm's new factory

One of Silsden’s largest employers wants to demolish its current base, replace it with a supermarket and build a new factory nearby.

Conveyor and transmission belt manufacturer Habasit Rossi Limited – of Habegger House, in Keighley Road – said it had been working from sub-standard buildings for years and needed better premises to ensure it remained competitive.

The same site recently came under the spotlight after Bradford Council confirmed it had been shortlisted for the possible development of a waste plant as part of its Waste Management Development Plan.

Habasit Rossi’s managing director, Richard Smith, said: “In a global economy we must stay competitive with a first-class workforce and a first-class building to work from.

“Our existing building is out-of-date and doesn’t suit our business. The recent uncertainty regarding the proposed waste management facility has acted as a catalyst.

“This opportunity gives us the chance to design a new facility exactly to our own requirements and crucially would ensure our future in Silsden, safeguarding 80 jobs in the town.”

Habasit has joined forces with a Lancashire-based firm, Pendle Projects Limited, to draw up a planning application to knock down the factory and replace it with a “medium-sized supermarket” and build a new factory on fields between Keighley Road and Belton Road.

Craven ward district councillor Adrian Naylor welcomed the proposals. He said: “This has got to be good news for Silsden. It safeguards the future of Habasit in our town and brings both new investment and new jobs.”

A Pendle Projects spokesman said: “This new store will allow people to shop in Silsden, giving them a better choice and cut hundreds of car journeys.

“It will also create around 100 full and part-time new jobs in the town."

The two companies have said they will work with the community and that there will be an opportunity for residents to view their plans.

Andrew Marshall, strategy planning manager for Bradford Council, said: “The inclusion of a site as a suggestion for one type of use in a Bradford Council long-term development framework does not prevent other ideas for the site’s future being put forward.”

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