A65 Ilkley: Billionaire Issa brothers apply to build drive-thru on site of Original Factory Shop founded in 1969 - but company say they are unaware of plans

An Ilkley shop could be closed, demolished, and replaced by a drive through cafe if newly revealed plans are approved.

The development would involve the demolition of the Original Factory Store off the A65 at Ben Rhydding and the construction of a new drive through with four EV car charging bays.

The application does not specify which café chain would take on the new unit, but joint applicants the EG Group, founded by the billionaire Issa brothers, operate other sites that include Starbucks, Greggs and Krispy Kreme.

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The Original Factory Store sells discounted homeware and electric goods. It was founded in 1969, with the first shop being in Keighley.

Original Factory Shop In IlkleyOriginal Factory Shop In Ilkley
Original Factory Shop In Ilkley

Shortly after the plans were submitted to Bradford Council, a spokesman for the store told the Local Democracy Reporting Service they had no knowledge of the application, and no plans to close the store.

But joint applicants the EG Group and Burley Development Group say they are liaising with the company, and have served notice of their plans to the landowner.

The planning application says: “The proposed development would provide services principally for passing traffic on the A65 trunk road, allowing customers to purchase refreshments before continuing with their journeys.

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“It is the applicant’s intention to deliver a new, high quality development, which is designed to modern standards and seeks to contribute to the site’s prominent position on the strategic highway network in Ilkley whilst respecting the surroundings and surrounding businesses.”

When the LDRS contacted the Original Factory Store for a comment on the plan, and any update on the future of the business in Ilkley, a spokesman said: “We have no information about the planning application and currently have no plans on moving.”

In response to this comment, the applicants said: “As joint applicants, Ilkley-based Burley Developments have liaised with the current owners, The Original Factory Shop, with regard to the proposed plans to redevelop the site and create a high-quality and modern drive-through coffee shop.

“Burley Developments has an established track-record locally in delivering a number of different schemes in and around Ilkley that have been well received.

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“It is understood by the parties that there is a break clause in the current occupational lease, which allows for a landlord or tenant to terminate the lease at an agreed point in time. Accordingly, both the EG Group and Burley Developments are working together collaboratively to redevelopment this prominent site for an alternative use that will enhance the local offerings and deliver wider benefits to the local community.

“It is pertinent to also note that the correct planning procedures have been adhered to, with appropriate notice served upon the landowner.

“Given that the current tenants of the site lease the property, notice is not directly served upon them; hence, the locally based staff may be ‘unaware’ of the proposals.”

A decision on the application is expected in January.