Decision over 61 Low Lane building deferred

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More work must be done before a decision will be made over the future of a derelict building in Birstall.

That’s according to councillors on the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee, who put off making a decision on an application to change the use of a vacant building to form a retail unit.

The application for 61 Low Lane was deferred after members of Birstall Chamber of Trade expressed their concerns including disruptions when deliveries are made and fears of a reduction in car park spaces.

Anne Thompson, chairman of Birstall Chamber of Trade, said: “Around 90 per cent of shop in Birstall are independent retail shops.

“A change of use, in particular to retail, will have a determental impact on trade.”

Retired shopkeeper Alan Walker raised his concerns over the car park.

He said: “There is no doubting the loss of footfall because of parking issues and it is a loss shop keepers can no longer afford.”

A total of 50 letters of objection and one letter of support were received by the council.

Objections included claims work had already taken place without planning permission but the applicant’s agent, Asif Munir, insisted work was needed to save the building.

He said: “I am sure all of us can agree we want to bring the building back to some use.

“When the building was purchased the roof was missing. It was replaced to protect the building to make sure no further damage was caused.”