Plan to transform derelict supermarket site into new college

The site in 2008, three years after Safeway shut.
The site in 2008, three years after Safeway shut.

A derelict former supermarket site could be transformed into a new college building for 500 students.

Kirklees College would run courses in motor vehicles, construction, business, health and social care and art and design from classrooms and workshops at the facility, if planning permission is granted.

Once complete, staff and students would move to the site from their current base at the Wheelwright building.

A report to Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee, which will meet today to consider the development, says: “The application would result in proposals to provide a modern, high quality and architect led designed building for use as an educational facility within a sustainable location, whilst bringing back into use a derelict brownfield site and contributing to the regeneration of Dewsbury town centre.”

The site, on Commercial Road in Dewsbury town centre, was previously a Safeway store.

The supermarket was closed in 2005 and later demolished.

And planning documents submitted by architects Kilmartin Plowman and Partners say a legal agreement with neighbouring Lidl supermarket prevented the site being used for retail.

They add: “The proposed development will make a positive contribution to the economic regeneration of the vacant site by reducing the negative contribution that the site makes at present, both visually and commercially.”

Council officers have recommended the development be approved.