By: Chris Young.
A new branch of a popular pizza chain can open in a former building society after planners decided it would “complement town centre activity.”
Papa John’s submitted a planning application to convert a former Yorkshire Building Society at the Five Rise Shopping Centre in Bingley into a takeaway in April.
The multinational company said opening a branch in the long-empty unit would create up to 25 jobs.
The Yorkshire Building Society unity has been empty since the building society announced in 2017 that it planned numerous closures of high street branches.
The neighbouring Santander branch has also recently shut, leaving this Main Street facing section of the shopping centre completely vacant on the ground floor.
Papa John’s application said: “The unit has been vacant for some time and therefore the occupation would improve the vitality and viability of this part of the town centre.”
Takeaways can often fall foul of Bradford Council’s planning system – the authority adopted a policy in 2014 banning new takeaways from opening within 400m of schools, parks or leisure facilities.
However, this policy did not apply to town or city centres. Approving Papa John’s application, Bradford Council planning officers said the unit was clearly in Bingley Town Centre.
Officers said: “A town centre is normally an appropriate location for uses such as a hot food takeaway where it will add to the range of services and facilities available and accessible to residents and visitors.
“Whilst there are public houses and bars nearby, there appear to be no other hot food takeaways within the same Main Street frontage.
“The nearest existing takeaways in the town centre are located on the separate frontages north toward the junction between Park Road and Main Street.
“In this case, the proposal would not result in the loss of a retail unit. There will therefore be no loss of conventional shopping floor space or outward retail character.
“A takeaway could potentially generate more footfall than a building society and would complement and support retail and other town centre activity.
“Securing the optimum viable use of this building which has been unoccupied for some time, securing employment and achieving public benefits are key material considerations for application proposals.”
There had been no public objections to the application.
Founded in Indiana in the United States in 1984, Papa John’s now has branches in 40 countries. Currently, the only branch in Bradford District is in Wrose.
Meanwhile, an application to turn empty office space above the unit has been revealed.
The first and second floors of a section of the Five Rise Shopping Centre, above the former TBS and Santander units – are the subject of the latest application to create flats in upper floor spaces.
The application is to ask Bradford Council if planning permission is needed for the residential conversion to go ahead.
Recent changes to planning law by Government make it much easier for developers to convert vacant office space without going through the usual planning process.
Councils can only refuse such conversions if officers raise serious environmental or traffic concerns.
The plans, submitted by Peter Burke, show that five of the apartments would be two-bed, and three would be one-bed.