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Refused Haworth tourist accommodation plans to go to appeal

Friday, 29 December 2023 17:15

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

A planning committee’s decision to refuse a development of aparthotels in Haworth will go to appeal, with the applicant saying the decision was a “huge shock.”

And they claim council planning officers have agreed to support them with the appeal.

In August a planning application to convert a number of derelict buildings on West Lane and the Fold into 11 aparthotel rooms went before Bradford Council’s Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel.

The application by Adrian Longthorne said the buildings, in the heart of the tourist hot spot, had been empty for at least 20 years.

It would have include changes to the roof of one section of the buildings.

An application to convert the buildings into residential use was approved in 2021.

In a report to the panel, planning officers had recommended members approve the application, saying it would bring a derelict building back to use and boost Haworth’s tourism offer.

Haworth and Stanbury Parish Council were among those who had objected to the plans, claiming 11 hotel rooms was “excessive” and saying visitors would clog up local car parks – to the detriment of local residents.

25 other people wrote to the Council to object.

Councillors sitting on the panel echoed some of these concerns, with Councillor Chris Herd (Cons, Worth Valley) saying: “It isn’t all about bringing in more tourism, it is about the lives of people who live in this area.”

The panel refused the application.

Now Mr Longthorne has lodged an appeal to get this decision overturned, and a Government appointed planning inspector will decide on the future of the development.

His appeal says: “The decision of a refusal came as a huge shock to the applicant and the case officer.

“It was a very disappointing, frustrating and a costly outcome.

“The case officer was just as surprised and disappointed as ourselves and has recommended we pursue an appeal.
“The case officer has also offered his support for the appeal.

“In our opinion, we do not understand why the case officer’s recommendation for approval has been overturned. We do not see the reasoning behind the decision to refuse this application.

“The previously approved planning application seems to have been ignored and not considered whilst deciding this current application.

“Even though the previous application, consisting of the exact same external alterations and improvements was approved. These concerns were not raised within the previous approval, so we are unsure as to why they are a concern now.

“We would respectfully and politely request that the original decision is overturned.”

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