Eyesore buildings to be levelled

EYESORE NO MORE?: The Albion Works and Northgate Mill complex is set for demolition to make way for Tesco's redeveloped supermarket.
EYESORE NO MORE?: The Albion Works and Northgate Mill complex is set for demolition to make way for Tesco's redeveloped supermarket.
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SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is set to demolish the ‘eyesore’ derelict Albion Works – which could kick-start development of its larger Northgate store.

The firm has notified Kirklees Council of its intent to demolish the buildings on the far side of Serpentine Road, including the former Northgate Mills, which have been empty and derelict for several years.

When Kirklees Council granted Tesco planning permission to redevelop its Cleckheaton town centre store in 2010, it included plans to move the petrol station to the site of the mill complex.

In a planning statement prepared by Leeds-based agents DPP, the supermarket giant says it wants to carry out the work later this year.

Coun Andrew Pinnock welcomed the news – if it means construction on the larger store can begin soon.

“Does this mean we get some developments at last?” he said.

“I would welcome that because the most common comment from people around the town is ‘when will Tesco start building the new store?’ I keep having to say that I don’t know.”

Coun Pinnock, who sits on the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee, said: “It’s relatively unusual for this type of notification to be made because you don’t need planning permission to demolish buildings.”

A spokeswoman for Tesco said that a meeting had been scheduled with executives for Tuesday, when more details of the development would come to light.

She also added that Tesco was confident that a tenant had now been found to take over the Park Fisheries building, in Bradford Road, which it owns.

The former fish and chip shop has been vacant for nearly a decade, despite previous attempts to bring it back into commercial use.