Commercial units at the Hattersley site

THE DERELIFT site of the former George Hattersley & Sons textile engineering factory in downtown Keighley could become a business park.

Plans are underway to build six industrial units on an overgrown wasteland that was once a driving force behind the Industrial Revolution.

The site, bordered by Church Street, Bridge Street, Beck Street, and Keighley Shared Church Cemetery, housed a factory which in the 1800s made world-famous looms.

Plans for the new project show that vehicles would enter the site via a new ramped access road from Bridge Street, parallel to Beck Street and the potholes.

Four large units would sit side by side next to the cemetery wall, while two small units would be built against Cornmill Bridge, overlooked by Bridge Street.

The project was praised this week by elected officials who believe it will create jobs while cleaning up a long vacant wasteland.

Since the closure of George Hattersley & Sons in 1984 and the demolition of buildings, proposed uses for the site include a supermarket.

The business park project was unveiled this week by Keighley-based MADP developers with the aim of garnering public views ahead of a formal planning request to the Bradford Council.

The company will be hosting a consultation day on Monday, August 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Keighley Library, during which people can review the plans and ask questions.

MADP spokesperson Leah Dixon said the site is currently idle and previous planning requests have taken different approaches to the area’s development.

She said, “The proposed program will provide employment opportunities both during the construction phase and during construction completed. The proposal will restore a site long abandoned to economic life.

“He will present a development plan that has been carefully considered and is a nice development in this part of the conservation area.

“There will be low maintenance landscaping to even out the land if needed. We generally believe that this proposal will improve the site as a whole.

Cllr Zafar Ali, who represents the central district of Keighley, described the current site as abandoned and dangerous.

He said: “This is one of the best types of projects that could come to this region, getting it back up and running and generating work. This will improve the appearance of the environment and make it safer for people walking in this area.

“My only caveat is that it will generate traffic, but it won’t be a phenomenal amount.”

Keighley central adviser Abid Hussain said the new units will support Keighley’s existing businesses and help others who want to start new businesses.

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