PLANS to build a retirement home on a long empty site once occupied by a town’s court have been approved.
The former Magistrate’s Court and police station site on Main Street in Bingley has been vacant since the buildings were demolished in 2018.
But the buildings had been empty long before that – following a nationwide cull of Magistrates Courts in 2011.
Although based in Bingley, the court was known as Keighley Magistrates Court at the time.
Last year, Roche Retirement Living submitted a planning application to build a four-storey retirement home, with 45 apartments, on the site – which in one of the main gateways into Bingley town centre.
The new building would include a residents’ lounge, dining area, hair salon and communal garden space.
The application has this week been approved by planning officers at Bradford Council.
There had been calls to do something with the site for years – with Shipley MP Philip Davies among the voices calling for development of such a key site.
The site of the Magistrates’ Court (Image: google)
There had been 10 objections to the application. Some objectors argued the site should be used for a leisure development for the town.
Others said retirement homes were not needed in Bingley, and some suggested the site be used for family homes.
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There had also been three letters of support – arguing that it was positive that the site is finally being used.
“The introduction of a residential use at this location is supported.
“It is a brownfield site and development would improve the current appearance of the site. The apartments would also further contribute to housing supply within the District.
“In relation to the representations received, these focus on the type of housing being provided, retirement apartments, suggesting that there should be affordable family housing provided.
“The type of housing proposed is considered to meet demand that exists within the District.
“The proposed development is appropriate to the context of the surrounding area and presents no concerns with regard to visual or residential amenity or highway safety.”
Officers said the applicant has offered £262,000 for the Council to provide affordable housing off site – as there would be no affordable housing on site.
Conditions of the approval include that electric vehicle charging points, bat roosts and birds nests are installed on site.
The flats will be a mix of 10 one bed flats and 35 two-bed flats. The on-site car park would have space for 28 vehicles.
There will also be extensive planting around the building.