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Ilkley Civic Society responds to plans for a drive-through coffee shop

Ilkley Civic Society (ICS) says it has major concerns regarding the plans to demolish the existing Original Factory Shop building on Leeds Road and build a drive-through coffee shop.

Joint applicants the EG Group and Burley Development Group submitted plans to Bradford Council in November 2023 which would involve the demolition of the Original Factory Store off the A65 and the construction of a new drive through with four EV car charging bays.

ICS made a number of summarised comments regarding this application as follows:-

Existing site and proposed demolition - the existing retail outlet was built as a car showroom & workshop possibly in the early/mid 20th century and whilst not architecturally significant it is of its period and with improved fascia detailing and less advertising could  provide a feature at the entrance to Ilkley. This is a key Gateway site to the town and deserves a new building of some architectural standing should demolition is allowed.

Residential amenity of neighbours – The application is almost bereft of any consideration for the terrace of 6 Victorian houses opposite to the site; we will cover the individual subjects in relevant paragraphs later. No consideration of the fact that the residential properties on Wheatley Lane are downwind from the proposal of the prevailing Westerly winds in this area.

Design – clearly contemporary but says no more than a prefab box with little architectural interest and resembling a temporary ticket office on a major temporary event site.

D&A (Planning) statement:

Many of the geographical directions are confusingly incorrect showing a lack of knowledge of the area.

6.10 suggests all bus routes pass along the A65 which is clearly incorrect,  the  main route uses Wheatley La  which already causes congestion with the large double decker  No 84 service passing cars queuing at the traffic lights adjacent the cycleway lane and  parked cars ( now on the footpath since the cycle lane added) on the west side of the road, with not much space left. Similar congestion results on the return No 84 journey out of Ilkley.

6.18 Drainage – refers to utilisation of SUDS however this contradicts with the drawings that show all the parking areas as ‘black bitmac’ and other surfaces as ‘block paving’ indicating an unsustainable drainage philosophy. No mention is made of the 30% reduction in SWD requirement or any attenuation

6.20 Demolition – suggests ‘unlikely’ to have ‘significant and/or adverse impacts on the environment’ We strongly disagree, ‘Retrofit First’ has clearly not been considered at all and neither has CBMC ‘Sustainable Design Guide SPD’ which confirms the necessity of a ‘Site appraisal’ to understand the site. It also notes that ‘re-use of buildings should always be a priority’ as it is ‘an inherently sustainable activity’. No mention of embodied energy and the cost to the environment of demolition and associated transport and then the need to transport newly produced materials onto site. Demolition in most areas of construction is becoming a last resort after re- use of space and dismantling for re-use of materials. CBMC should be following Leeds CC in introducing planning policy to restrict demolition/dismantling of buildings

6.23 Noise reports have been conducted which it appears CBMC accept which we find puzzling as with increased traffic ( the cafe will fail if traffic levels do not increase) noise from that additional traffic and additional congestion ( from turning traffic and insufficient space for large vehicles to pass ( 2 lanes plus parked cars and cycle lane ) . Noise levels will affect the residential amenity of local residents.

6.25 Air Quality – we fail to understand how the development will cause ‘negligible impact’ in the area when clearly the aim of the development is to increase traffic with consequent congestion and reduced air quality

7.0 Planning Policy - a concern would be that if planning approval is given for a drive through cafe and  it then wishes to become a drive through hot food establishment with increased need for extraction systems with consequent noise and smells . We suggest that with one outlet ( garden centre) within a short distance and another ( Macdonalds recent permission granted ) another short distance away and a third ( supermarket )  before the town centre, that the demand for  a drive through coffee shop is not there and would only reduce the amount of A65 traffic visiting town centre coffee shops. to the detriment of the local economy

7.10 Sustainable development avoids totally the issue of demolition being unsustainable and ‘Retrofit First’. It suggests ‘fewer trips, will be generated overall with which we strongly disagree, the business will fail if fewer trips are generated. It further suggests the proposed landscaping will deliver biodiversity gain but the hedge around the site which is a busy car park/ queuing area is unlikely to do so. Some offsite planting in the POS would have helped but this has been ignored.

Application Form:

Trees and hedges answered No and No when one Sycamore tree exists just offsite that was given status as the reason for refusing a planning application for development of a coffee shop in the old sub station (23/01058/ful)

Biodiversity and Geological Conservation – under designated sites a response of ‘No’ is given when the playing fields are adjacent the site and the River Wharfe is across the A65 ( SEGI and Green Space.

Waste – No provision noted for storage / recycling/ trade waste!

Operating Hours – shown as 7am to 11pm 7 days a week in the app form but noticeably omits to assess and negative effect on residents in the Planning statement.

Illumination  - omitted on the application form and on the drawings which will clearly have a negative effect on local residents. Also  with the demolition proposed and replaced by a smaller building more of the high levels of illumination of the adjacent petrol station will be visible

Consultation – not now a question on app forms but no mention anywhere on this subject


App 23/01058/f - Proposed development of adjacent substation site for cafe was refused by CBMC on highways grounds adding to congestion and the negative effect on a ‘majestic and well formed/ visible/ of high amenity value sycamore tree’. An Appeal was refused supporting CBMC re highways issues.  This issue has not been considered by the applicant.

Transport Statement - notes in its conclusion that the development would ‘not lead to any significant numbers of vehicle movements on the local highways network’ totally missing the key issue of increased congestion close to a main traffic light controlled junction. We suggest this is far from a green solution to the development of the site with no mention of the need for a Green travel plan

Site Plan and Elevations – reference is made on the site plan to the low brick boundary wall to the north and east sides of the site  that will be ‘made good’ we suggest this is unsatisfactory as this wall has for years been an dilapidated eyesore and because of its visibility needs more radical attention.

We also note no extraction flues appear on the elevation drawings and do not appear to be mentioned elsewhere in the documents. As a likely environmental health requirement there design should be approved to minimise their visual effect and   effect on local residential properties.


We suggest this is a poor solution for a key gateway site to the town. On the basis of the information provided and the considerable issues raised Ilkley Civic Society strongly recommend refusal of this application.

ICS, 20 December 2023

In its response, Ilkley Town Council said it has concerns regarding the potential for increased traffic on a busy junction and would appreciate the view of a Highways Officer. The Town Council would request that there is more of the site is allocated for green space.


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