THE DERELICT site of the former George Hattersley & Sons textile engineering works in Keighley town centre could become a business park.

Plans are being prepared to build six industrial units on an overgrown wasteland that was once a driving force of the Industrial Revolution.

The site, bordered by Church Street, Bridge Street, Beck Street and the Keighley Shared Church graveyard, was home to a factory that in the 1800s manufactured world-beating looms.

Blueprints for the new project show that vehicles would enter the site via a new ramped access road off Bridge Street, running parallel with potholed Beck Street.

Four large units would sit alongside each other next to the graveyard wall, while two small units would be built up against Cornmill Bridge, overlooked by Bridge Street.

The project was this week welcomed by councillors who believe it will create jobs while tidying up a long-vacant piece of wasteland.

Since George Hattersley & Sons closed down in 1984 and the buildings were demolished, proposed uses for the site have included a supermarket.

The business park project was this week unveiled by Keighley-based developers MADP in a bid to gather the public’s views in advance of a formal planning application to Bradford Council.

The company will host a consultation day on Monday August 12 from 10am to 3pm at Keighley Library, when people can examine the plans and ask questions.

MADP spokesman Leah Dixon said the site was currently unused, and previous planning applications had adopted different approaches to the development of the area.

She said: “The proposed scheme will offer job opportunities through both the construction phase and the completed build. The proposal will restore a long-derelict site to economic life.

“It will bring forward a development scheme which has been carefully considered, and is a sympathetic development in this part of the Conservation Area.

“There will be low maintenance landscaping to even out the land where necessary. We generally feel that this proposal will enhance the site overall.”

Cllr Zafar Ali, whose represents Keighley Central ward, described the present site as derelict and dangerous.

He said: “This is one of the best types of project that could come to that area, bringing it back into use and generating work. It will improve the look of the environment, and make it safer for people walk through that area.

“My only reservation is that it will generate traffic, but it won’t be a phenomenal amount.”

Fellow Keighley Central councillor Abid Hussain said the new units would support existing Keighley businesses, and help other people who wanted to establish new businesses.