A DEVELOPER behind a scheme to build a new village Co-op store says it would “generate a raft of benefits” for the community.

Leeds-based Dalehead Properties says the store – planned for the site of Haworth’s former fire station – would create up to 20 permanent jobs, plus more during the construction stage.

It claims the project would also provide a boost to the local economy – sparking further investment and development in the area – and offer greater shopping choice.

Company director, David Brackenridge, said: “We are committed to bringing to life a project that will deliver something positive for the village, redeveloping a redundant, brownfield site that has stood empty for five years.”

He was speaking ahead of a meeting next Wednesday of Bradford Council’s Keighley & Shipley Area Planning Panel, when an application – previously approved – is due to be reconsidered.

It follows a judicial review into the planning process sought by representatives of Spar, which has a store nearby.

Mr Brackenridge said he was confident the planning application would receive the final seal of approval, and that work could start in the first half of next year.

He added: “Our plans have been given a positive welcome in the village.

“They have previously been recommended for approval by council planners, and subsequently awarded planning consent.

“The recent application to quash that consent was based on what we believe to be a legal loophole regarding a procedural technicality. The merits of the overall scheme still stand.”

He says competition is “healthy and good news for shoppers”, and believes there is “more than enough room” in the village for both a Spar and a Co-op.

Councillor David Mahon – chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council – said he hoped to attend Wednesday’s panel meeting.

He added that the parish council had some minor concerns relating to road safety issues, but otherwise was happy with the plans. And he said many people in the village were supportive of the scheme.

A Co-op spokesman said this week: “We remain committed to providing the community in Haworth with a Co-op store and are pleased that Bradford Council is being given the opportunity to review our application once more.”