Council officers are recommending that Councillors approve a planning application from McDonald's for its new restaurant on the A65 between Ilkley and Burley-in-Wharfedale.
Plans were submitted in June this year to make alterations to the rear of the former Kashmiri Aroma restaurant building on Coutances Way. This includes building a two-storey extension to enclose an existing external staircase, the demolition and replacement of the existing cold room and creating new replacing the roof and doors.
A decision is due to be made on the application by councillors on the Keighley and Shipley Planning Panel next Wednesday (29th November).
Planning consent is already in place for the site to be used as a takeaway and restaurant with permission to operate between 8am and midnight. McDonald's is not seeking to extend these hours, nor would there be a drive-thru facility.
The planning application being considered is for minor alterations to the building and car park. In its application McDonald's highlighted that getting the go-ahead would fulfil a 'demand for McDonald's services in this area' and create 42 full-time and 18 part-time jobs.
Kashmiri Aroma closed its branch on the site on 1st May after 15 years. The building had previously been home to a Little Chef between 1981 and 2004.
Around 500 objections have been received by Bradford Council, as well as just over 100 comments in support. Those opposed cited a variety of reasons including the possible impact on traffic, litter and unsociable behaviour in the area. Supporters said it would bring jobs to the area and reduce the need for McDonald's customers to travel to Keighley, Skipton or Guiseley.
In a report to the Keighley and Shipley Planning Panel to consider at its meeting next week, the report from Richard Hollinson, Assistant Director (Planning, Transportation and Highways) recommends that councillors approve the application.
It says: "There is no material change of use taking place under the terms of the Planning Act. In this respect, it is not for the Local Planning Authority to ascertain in this application if the ‘use’ of the site is acceptable. This is already established, and the applicant could operate from the premises as it currently stands without further consent from the Local Planning authority.
"A vast majority of representations received have raised concerns about the merits (morals and ethics) of the application company. It is not for a Local Planning Authority to ascertain if a particular company (or applicant) can or cannot operate from a premises.
"The proposal is not proposing a drive-through facility. Neither is the development proposing to enlarge the building to accommodate additional seat covers for the restaurant. The previous decision on the approved ‘change of use’ application in 2007 has some restrictions on the hours of operation for the takeaway element of the business. The new company is not proposing to depart from these hours. The main matter for consideration in this application are the extensions and alterations to the building to help facilitate the existing use of the building for the new proprietors."