Revised Burley Co-op plans attract positive and negative views

Re-submitted plans to extend the village library with a Co-operative convenience store in Burley have sparked a flood of public comments.

The plans have attracted opinion objecting to and supporting the idea.

Jenny Symons, of Ilkley’s Fairbrook Developments, submitted an application to refurbish and extend Burley-in-Wharfedale Library in Grange Road to house the Co-op store on the ground floor.

A similar plan was turned down by Bradford Council earlier this year and an appeal by the developer was recently dismissed.

Comments opposing the plans were among those posted on the Bradford Council’s website from members of the public raising concerns including traffic congestion, parking, traffic and pedestrian safety, fears it may affect the character of the area and concerns a similar store will open in its place.

Village resident Roy Talbot said: “It is incredible that the Co-op are again submitting these proposals without any consideration for the reasons why the original proposal was rejected.”

However, comments in favour of the store were also made on the site.

They raised points including views that it will provide better access for customers while some felt it would not take away trade from other shops in the village. People also stated the current location was not suitable and that the library needed a facelift.

Thomas Bracewell, from Horsforth, said: “I visit the current Co-op premises frequently and the store is in dire need of seeing the 21st century and taking on the unique Co-op look from surrounding stores.”

Changes in the new plan include kerbside deliveries being made to the store, instead of trucks crossing parking places outside the building.

One of the disabled parking bays would be used as a holding area for produce so the footpath remained clear at all times for pedestrians.

The previous plan drew strong feelings from the village, with a petition from some who feared the bigger store could harm smaller shops.

There was also a petition in favour of the new store.

The Co-op currently runs the Burley Village Store in Station Road. Co-op regional manager Peter Ryan told villagers at a meeting last year he was “ashamed” of the cramped store, which is in need of refurbishment.

The chain went into talks with Bradford Council libraries bosses before drawing up the plan to build an extra floor on the library and share premises.

Burley Parish Council’s planning committee has recommended that the plans be opposed, but the final decision rests with Bradford Council.

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