Ben Rhydding café plan for electricity sub-station refused

Monday, 22 May 2023 14:37

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to replace an operational electricity sub-station in Ben Rhydding with a café could cause damage to a “majestic” Sycamore tree.

Bradford Council has refused a planning application to demolish a sub station on Wheatley Lane and build a coffee shop in its place.

Planners said the new business would cause highways issues and could also damage a Sycamore tree next to the building, which they say adds to the area’s “leafy character.”

There was also concern that the development would leave the area without a much needed electricity sub-station.

The proposals had been submitted by Paul Milner earlier this year, and said: “This application is put forward to re develop a brownfield site into a usable structure that would complement commercial property to the north and local needs.”

The site has a historic land use as an electricity sub-station and is currently operational. It is understood that the 60-year lease is coming to an end. The owner has served the relevant notice to the Electricity Company to vacate.

“The Council is mindful that the unit provides electricity to a number of properties in the area and that its closure has the potential to disrupt the power to these properties whilst another site is located. However, this is a matter which is covered by other forms of legislation. The granting of planning permission on this unit would not override this. Equally the owner can ask the current users of the site to vacate irrespective of any planning decision. Although officers are mindful of the consequences of loss power supply, this is a civil law matter to be resolved between parties and is not a material planning consideration.

“The sycamore tree stands tall in a prominent location within Wheatley Lane.

“It is a majestic, well-formed and highly visible tree and has a high amenity value both individually and also, together with other equally prominent trees along this eastern boundary.

“The tree is a significant positive contributor to the pleasantly leafy and verdant character, appearance and setting of the area. The application form has answered ‘no’ to the question of whether there are any trees on land adjacent to plot that could influence the development or might be important as part of the landscape.

“This cannot be agreed with.”

Referring to the highways concerns, they said: “Wheatley Lane is a busy trafficked route. As a result, traffic regularly queues build up at the junction of Wheatley Lane / A65 and extend past the proposed development site.”

They argued the new business, which has no dedicated parking spaces, would lead to “indiscriminate parking” on Wheatley Lane.

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