A ONCE-thriving Keighley pub is to be demolished to make way for a new supermarket and retail development.

The Cricketers Arms was originally due to be retained on the town-centre site of the planned new Aldi store and shop units.

But now Bradford Council planners have given permission for the historic premises, in Coney Lane, to be bulldozed.

Pub campaigners say that although the Cricketers Arms closed its doors last year, the loss of the premises will be a blow.

Originally known as the Sportsman, the pub dates back to the 1840s.

A spokesperson for Keighley & Craven Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) says: "CAMRA members are always saddened by the loss of a pub, especially one as distinctive as the Cricketers Arms.

"We believe that the physical loss of any pub is detrimental to the local community as well as being a blow to the hospitality industry and its associated businesses.

"Sadly, in the case of the Cricketers, we understand that the very poor fabric of the building plus a lack of returning custom post-pandemic made it unviable as a going concern.

"Many local CAMRA members will recall with fondness the happy times spent across the years drinking beer with family and friends at the 'Cricks'."

Aldi is planning to build a new, bigger store on the long-vacant Alexandra Mills site to replace its current supermarket in adjacent Gresley Road.

The multi-million-pound development will also include a Tim Hortons drive-thru and smaller shop units.

An Aldi spokesperson said: "The Cricketers Arms pub ceased trading in March 2022 following the owner’s confirmation that it was no longer operating as a viable business.

"Following discussions with the then owner, Aldi secured the option on the vacant building.

"The demolition is twofold – the vacant pub is structurally poor and is likely to fail/collapse following the demolition of the neighbouring buildings as part of the planning permission; also, its demolition will allow for more uniform landscaping along the Coney Lane boundary as part of the wider extant retail-led permission.

"The Cricketers Arms is not statutorily or locally listed as a designated heritage asset or located in a conservation area, nor is it recognised as an asset of community value.

"Combined, the vacant public house is not considered worthy of retention, nor does policy prevent its demolition.

"The pub has been vacant for 16 months following its closure based on sustained poor trading performance.

"The closure has not resulted in the total loss of such facility in the local area, with a number of pub/drinking establishments in the immediate vicinity."