COUNCIL planners are considering an application to demolish Haworth’s old fire station and build a Co-op convenience store in its place.

The property at the junction of Bridgehouse Lane and Station Road has been disused since it was shut down as part of controversial cost-cutting measures at the end of 2014.

Despite protest rallies and a campaign to save the facility the fire service said worse than expected Government funding cuts meant it did not have the money to help re-open the premises as a community-run safety hub.

Now, plans have been submitted to knock it down and develop a modern, 263-square metre Co-op on the prominent site.

A detailed design statement accompanying the application explains: “The store would provide additional choice to retain shoppers spend within the village.

“A convenience store of this size will typically provide up to a total of 25 employment opportunities, including full and part time.

“Being located close to nearby residential areas this will provide convenient local employment opportunities that can often fit into people’s daily lifestyles offering a mix of full and part time jobs.

“The proposed opening hours of the convenience store are between six am and 11pm, while delivery hours are intended to be between 6am and 11pm.

“To the rear of the building along the southern boundary of the site, the existing mature

trees are to be retained.

“A pedestrian route from Station Road to the rear of the building will lead to a viewing area for train enthusiasts, residents and tourists to enjoy views of the trains.

“Dalehead Properties [the agent for the applicant] are currently in negotiation with the Keighley and

Worth Valley Railway regarding the provision of this area.”

The applicant argues the new Co-op would physically and economically regenerate what is currently a vacant, brownfield site in the village.

Its proposals also include the provision of 19 customer parking spaces and a cash machine.

The application has already attracted local public interest.

As of Monday afternoon (July 9) 21 letters supporting the application had been submitted to the planning section of Bradford Council’s website, alongside five objection letters.

People commenting in support of the proposals cited the need for more choice for shoppers in Haworth and the fact that unlike other nearby villages Haworth does not have it’s own Co-op store.

Objectors to the plans have voiced concern over the new building’s visual appearance and the impact it would have on traffic using the new roundabout at the bottom of Bridgehouse Lane.