Trouble brewing over plans for education centres in Westborough and Batley Carr

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TROUBLE is brewing over plans for two educational centres in Dewsbury.

Both are sparking fears over parking and road safety. And one, at the former Old Shoulder of Mutton pub in Halifax Road, could be put on hold as bats may be roosting there.

Khabbab Raja of Ashworth Close, Dewsbury, wants to turn the former pub into a training centre with 30 students going to classes between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week.

Fourteen spaces would be in an existing car park, which meets Upper Road at an acute angle close to the busy Halifax Road.

But Kirklees Council highways officer Mark Berry said there was not enough space for two vehicles to pass at the entrance.

In a report he said: “There have already been reported problems with on-street parking and vehicles being forced to reverse on to Halifax Road. The proposed plan will generate on-street parking, leading to safety risks.”

The local Tenants and Residents Association said the intended use of the old pub was not appropriate.

John Atkinson, of the environment unit, said there could also be a bat roost which would delay work.

Mr Raja’s agent, Hamid Dhorat, of Batley-based DK Architects Limited, said: “We appreciate the building has limited access. We have supplied a robust response from a highways consultant to justify use of the building.”

The other scheme is for extensions to a single-storey building at Mallinson Street, Westborough, which would more than double the floor space.

Terry Zaman wants to use the former day centre for counselling sessions, English and Arabic classes, drop-in and computer classes. Residents have already complained that they have trouble parking near their homes.

In a report, Mark Berry said the increase in floor space was equal to a requirement for 12 off-street spaces and staff parking. But the application shows that just two existing spaces would be retained.

Mr Berry’s report said “And this could affect safety. The proposal should be refused on safety grounds.”

Public consultation on the scheme ends on March 9.

Mr Zaman’s agents, Asif Neki Design Limited, did not respond to a request for comment.