OWNERS of a Silsden business have told Bradford Council they will likely have to close due to the “bleak” state of the engineering industry.

A&A Lampkin Ltd manufactures parts for power stations, and has been based in Silsden since 1946.

But the company recently submitted a planning application to the council to redevelop its workshop in Greengate into housing.

And its bosses have written to the council to explain why they have submitted the plans, saying the business may have to shut soon.

The plans for the site, which is in the Silsden Conservation Area, have attracted a number of objections, and at a meeting of Bradford Council’s Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel next week members will decide whether to allow the re-development.

The application is to convert the existing workshop building to three houses, the demolition of existing single-storey extensions and the construction of three new-build dwellings.

It had led to several objections, including one from Silsden Town Council saying the plans were an “overdevelopment of a conservation area and over development on an unadopted road”.

A letter from the company to Bradford Council said the firm was “taken aback” by the negative comments. It added: “We would love to continue this for many more years to come, however it is a bleak situation that we are currently finding ourselves in and local engineering work is not enough to sustain the company.

“Our main work is making parts for power stations, contracted from large companies such as GE Alstom, who have themselves made large amounts of redundancies over the past few years and are continuing to do so. Over the last few years we are been given less work, as more jobs are transferred to overseas competitors. There is nothing we can do about this, and given the general state of engineering we are unable to see a viable future for our business.

“If things do not improve in 2019 we will have no alternative but to close the business. Therefore we need to plan in case this does indeed become a reality – which would be an extremely sad day for us here at A&A Lampkin’s and not something that we want to happen.”

At next Wednesday’s meeting, members of the planning panel will be advised to approve the application.

A report by planning officers says: “The proposal would create six additional houses in an accessible location close to the bus routes and retail/community facilities of central Silsden.”

Officers acknowledge that the development would lead to a reduction in business space in the town, but add: “A local estate agent testifies to the likely lack of demand for these premises by modern business. The local estate agent holds out little prospect of any interest from other operators who seek modern, purpose-built premises in locations where access and servicing arrangements are up to date and are far more practicable and suitable to the needs of modern business.”

The panel meets in Keighley Town Hall at 10am next Wednesday.