A FOOD retail giant says it is “considering all options” after approval for a store in Haworth was overturned by a High Court judge.

The Co-op was given the go-ahead by Bradford Council’s planning panel earlier this year to demolish the former Haworth Fire Station and build a convenience store on the site.

But a judicial review has now quashed the planning permission.

James Hall & Co – a wholesaler to Spar, which has a store nearby – had taken the panel’s decision to court, arguing that councillors had been given insufficient information about the potential impact of the scheme on the village conservation area and neighbouring listed building Bridgehouse Mills.

And the review agreed that panel members hadn’t received the necessary information and therefore weren’t in a position to assess any harm to the conservation area.

The Co-op told the Keighley News that it was disappointed at the ruling and was weighing-up its next step.

“We believe that a new Co-op in Haworth would provide jobs for local people and offer the public a wide range of fresh healthy foods and essentials in a convenience store that gives back to the community,” a spokesman added.

“We are examining all options in terms of opening a new store in the village.”

Councillor David Mahon – chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council – said he was “surprised” at the High Court ruling.

“We had some slight concerns related to road safety but otherwise were quite happy with the plans,” he added.

“A lot of people in the village wanted the Co-op and I should imagine there will be considerable disappointment at this judgment.”

The proposed scheme, which would have led to the creation of 20 jobs, was approved by the Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel in March.

An officers’ report recommended that the plans be approved, stating that they would cause “minimal” harm to the conservation area. But the review said even a minimal impact had to be classed as an impact.

Kings, the law firm that represented James Hall & Co, said: “This is an important clarification of the law. It is not uncommon for heritage experts to acknowledge a heritage impact but then to seek to discount it as being irrelevant on the basis that it is a ‘negligible harm’.”