Old Oak demolition plan outcry

HAVE YOUR SAY: Developers have applied to knock down the Old Oak and build a supermarket in its place.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Developers have applied to knock down the Old Oak and build a supermarket in its place.

PLANS to demolish an historic Littletown pub and replace it with a new mini-supermarket have been criticised.

Developers want to demolish the Old Oak pub in Bradford Road and replace it with a purpose built mini-supermarket. An outline application was lodged with Kirklees Council last year and a consultation ended last August.

A letter was sent out to Littletown residents two weeks ago, on behalf of Labour’s local election candidate Martin Race, which said the building had been saved. However, Kirklees Council says no decision has yet been made.

The pub is the last remnant of the original Littletown settlement on that side of Bradford Road and opponents of the supermarket plan believe it has substantial historical significance.

While not a listed building, or within a conservation area, a report by the council’s heritage officer said the building was ‘an undesignated heritage asset’.

It said: “The building is therefore considered relevant due to the length of time it has stood in the locality, rather than its historical importance or architectural merit.”

The report also highlights several reasons why converting the pub into another use would be difficult, because of its size and design.

Spen Valley Civic Society vice-chairman Gordon North said: “We agree with most of what Kirklees heritage section has said in its report.

“It would be a shame to demolish the pub because it has architectural merit. It is the last part of Littletown on that side of the road and to demolish it would be a crying shame.”

Coun Margaret Bates (Con, Liversedge and Gomersal) said she had been against the plan since its inception.

“We were not aware whether this would be an express supermarket open all night, or something smaller, but we feel there are enough convenience stores in the area.

“That is also the opinion of residents around the site, who are my first consideration.”

It is thought that a final decision will be made within the next few weeks.