PLANS have been put forward to demolish a Haworth hotel and build housing on the site.

An application has been submitted to Bradford Council for the demolition of the Bronte Hotel, in Lees Lane, and the construction of six four-bedroom detached homes with integral garages.

A design and access statement accompanying the plans says the houses would be two-storey, in keeping with surrounding residential properties, and there would be more than a dozen car parking spaces. Vehicular access would be via the existing junction with Lees Lane.

The statement says business has “diminished” for the 11-bedroom hotel over recent years and that the owners are “looking to retire and having considered all options the redevelopment of the site as proposed would financially be the most beneficial”.

But Gary and Jackie Bailey, who run the Bronte Hotel, say the housing option is just one of several under consideration as they look towards retirement.

And they stress that whilst the hotel is currently closed due to the lockdown, it will reopen when Government restrictions are lifted.

They have posted a statement on the hotel’s Facebook page, seeking to reassure customers.

“Some of you may have heard rumours that we have sold the Bronte – I can confirm no discussions have taken place with regards to selling the property,” the statement says.

“A planning application has been put in for six detached houses, by us as a family.

“We are simply putting a plan in place to retire in the next few years. As a family we have run the business for 35 years and it is coming to a time where we are too old to carry on.

“Building houses is just one of the options we are looking into, as well as looking at options like leasing or selling as a business etc.

“We would like to thank all our customers for your support over the years – we are still here and will keep you updated. We will hopefully see you all once the lockdown is over.”

Councillor David Mahon, chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, says it would be “a huge loss” for the community were the hotel to close. The parish council’s planning committee will discuss the application when it meets, via a Zoom video link, next Wednesday.

Worth Valley district councillor Rebecca Poulsen, who lives in Haworth, says the hotel is a “great amenity” – and a popular meeting venue for a lot of organisations – and would be missed.

“The planned houses look very much in keeping with the surroundings and would blend in well but my hope is the business could be sold as a going concern,” she added.

“The hotel is the only facility of its kind in that part of the village and it would be great if someone took it over and built on the success that has been achieved.”