Green light given to plans for iconic Mytholmroyd store

Artist impression of the new store. Credit: Wilson Mason.
Artist impression of the new store. Credit: Wilson Mason.

Plans to help a long-standing Calderdale business future-proof against flooding were given the go ahead by planning chiefs today.

Russell Dean Fine Furnishers, Mytholmroyd, was badly hit by flooding in 2012 and then in the devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The ground floor of the business was severely affected by the deluge and forced the business to move its trading operation to the first floor - a small and unsustainable space.

As part of flood resilience measures for the Burnley Road store, the plans will see partial demolition of the existing store and the construction of a three-storey retail building.

This would include basement parking and a first floor link to the retained area of the existing retail building.

The proposals went before Calderdale Council's planning committee today (Tuesday).

Sam Tattersall spoke in objection to the plans, raising concerns about the character of the building and how it would impact upon the village.

He asked councillors to take into consideration a number of factors before passing the plans including the use of more "traditional" building materials, reducing the overall height of the new building and narrowing the width of the development to minimise the impact.

He said: "We don't want an Ikea in the middle of Mytholmroyd. That's pretty much what it looks like. We want something which looks in keeping with the area."

Nick Willock, speaking on behalf of applicant Stokers Ltd, outlined that the two floods had left the business with a difficult choice - to rebuild or close the store.

He said there were two dimensions to the plans - to make the building more flood resilient and to create a 'destination' store which customers would want to visit.

Mr Willock added that materials had been chosen to reflect the industrial heritage of the village and urged the committee to pass the plans, which would help to attract visitors, secure current and additional jobs and encourage spin off trade.

While a number of committee members raised concerns about the materials to be used in the new building, planning officers said the design was subject to pre-application meetings and the "crisp" and "modern" design chosen was felt to be appropriate.

Planning committee chair David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said he thought the new-look building would "blend in better than people tend to think".

Jonathan Stoker, joint managing director of Stokers Ltd, said demolition of current building would begin by the end of March.

And in a poignant nod to the devastating events of Christmas 2015, it's hoped the store will re-open on Boxing Day.

Mr Stoker added: "I think it's not only good for our business, but for the town. We're pleased to be able to get on with it."

Image credit: Wilson Mason