By Chris Young LDRS

Plans for a new Lidl and a drive thru Costa Coffee on a Shipley site have been approved by Bradford Council.
Earlier this year it was revealed that the two big names were planning to open on the Airedale Mills site on Salts Mill Road, where Shipley meets Baildon.

An outline application to build a retail development on the site was approved in 2018, and now more detailed plans for the Lidl and Costa have been given the thumbs up from planning officers.
The plans also include the groundwork for “stage 2” which could see another two stores built on the site – which will be known as Shipley Wharfe Retail Park.

The site is the former home of Cardinal, a Bradford-based commercial interiors company that moved from the location in 2016. The company’s buildings and warehouses were demolished shortly after.
Pedestrian access from the town centre, as well as a public garden area, will also be included in the retail park’s layout. And the development will see improvements made to the walkway along the River Aire, which runs behind the site.

Morbaine, the property developers behind the scheme, had said work on the site had been delayed due to combined effects of Brexit, a general election and a global pandemic.
When plans were submitted they said work could begin on the site early next year, with stores opening to customers in late summer/autumn.

The scheme had been criticised by Shipley Town Council, which feared the development would draw shoppers out of the town centre. But the application claimed the retail park would “Help improve consumer choice in the area, bring back into active use a previously developed site, and support a greater number of jobs than the previous use of the site.”

A planning report said: “The scheme provides a retail scheme on previously developed land. The scale, form, layout and design of the proposal are acceptable and present no concerns with regard to residential amenity and highway safety. The proposal is considered acceptable.

“The design of the store has been the subject of detailed discussion with the applicant and resulted in a scheme that reflects the context of the area. The retail store would be constructed in natural stone and cladding. The drive-thru being constructed in stone and render. The applicant has with Highways looked to improve pedestrian connectivity and measures put in place to do this.”
Conditions of the plans include that five per cent of all parking spaces in the development have electric vehicle charging points.