Co-op convenience store plan for Brontë village Haworth backed by council officials

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PLANS to replace a fire station with a Co-op store, which have divided the village of Haworth, have been recommended for approval.

The fire station in the village was closed in 2014 as part of cost cutting measures by West Yorkshire Fire Service, and the building has been vacant ever since.

PIC: SWNS

PIC: SWNS

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Last year plans to demolish the premises at the junction of Bridgehouse Lane and Station Road and build a Co-op in its place were submitted, and a decision on these proposals will be made by Bradford Council’s Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel next Wednesday in Keighley Town Hall.

A report by officers suggests that members should approve the plans. It also reveals that while 13 people have objected to the plans, 38 have written to the council in support of them.

Objectors claim the shop could create road safety issues, lead to anti-social behaviour, and harm other businesses in the home village of the Brontë sisters. Another objector says the Co-op should instead be on Haworth Main Street. Supporters say many residents have to travel out of town to do food shopping and the shop would make a good use of the site.

Planning officers say the site is suitable for such a business.

Their report to the panel says: “Whilst a Co-op store was historically located there, the historic Main Street is now largely aimed at the tourist market and offers little or no convenience stores.

“Mill Hey offers a small number of general stores but convenience shopping in Haworth is limited to an existing small supermarket on Mill Hey.

“Both areas are very constrained and the report concludes that there are no vacant sites that would be suitable for a proposal of this scale and type.”

The report says while the building is modern it is now considered that “a balance has been struck between maintaining the company’s identity whilst respecting the surroundings.”