A DEVELOPER carrying out a major residential and commercial project in the centre of Haworth came in for heavy criticism at a parish council meeting this week.

Members of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council said Skipton Properties has been breaking the rules by carrying out work on the Bridgehouse Mills site outside of authorised hours – particularly on Sundays.

And they accused the developer of "tastelessly" locating a sign advertising the new complex directly next to the village's war memorial at the junction of Bridgehouse Lane and Station Road.

Commenting on the Sunday working, parish council chairman Cllr Gary Swallow said: “This is disgraceful, non-compliant behaviour by Skipton Properties."

Earlier in the meeting he said he and other parish councillors had received "numerous" complaints from residents about Skipton Properties working on the site during prohibited hours, including on Sundays.

Cllr David Mahon said Bradford Council's enforcement officers had got involved, and had told Skipton Properties to stop working on Sundays.

Worth Valley ward councillor, Rebecca Poulsen, said: "I went down to this site on Sunday October 29 and they [the workers] were quite shocked when I challenged them and asked to see their permits allowing them to be working then.”

A spokesman for Skipton Properties, commenting after the council meeting, said: "In regards to working hours, some work has had to be done at the weekend, in order to safely dismantle an archway to allow businesses on the development to operate.

"The archway was not structurally sound, and needed to be worked on efficiently to make the area safe."

Cllr Swallow said Skipton Properties should move the prominent sign it has put up, advertising the development, as this sign is inappropriately located very close to the war memorial. "It's just tasteless, and it really irritates me," he added.

Cllr Alan Watts suggested the sign has been put on land which does not actually belong to Skipton Properties.

The Skipton Properties spokesman responded: "Great care was taken whilst considering the sign’s position, and the board was designed tastefully to blend into the local context.

"The position is within the development’s boundary and has been installed so that the sign can be viewed from the road."

The Bridgehouse Mills development involves converting, extending and partly demolishing buildings on the site to create 45 retirement living apartments, 77 new houses, an extension to the existing industrial building accommodating Airedale Springs and the building of a new factory for Wyedean Weaving.

The scheme includes junction improvement works, landscaping, flood water storage and new parking provision.

Members of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council have also recommended refusal for a number of amended plans submitted by Skipton Properties as part of the ongoing development.

At their meeting on Monday (Nov 6) they objected to new plans to remove the west side of the development's flood storage area and opposed plans to change the height of the new building intended for Wyedean Weaving by adding a third storey instead of having a basement.

Parish councillors objected to amendments which they said would lead to the development encroaching on a public right of way, and they opposed a plan to create an additional apartment in place of a guest room, arguing that no additional parking was being provided for the extra flat.

The proposed amendments are being considered by Bradford Council planners.