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Worthington Group (WRN)

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Friday 09 March, 2012

Worthington Group

Update on Planning Application

RNS Number : 0796Z
Worthington Group PLC
09 March 2012

For immediate release                                                                                                     9 March 2012

Worthington Group Plc

("Worthington", "the Company" or "the Group")

Update on Planning Application


On 25 July 2011, we first advised the market that we had submitted a planning application to Bradford Metropolitan Council for mixed use development for our Keighley site.  We then updated the market on 1 November 2011 where we reported that we continued to have many conversations and meetings with the planners, and that additional information had been requested before the application could be considered further.  


During this most recent stage, it became apparent that during the process the Council's priorities had changed. Whereas originally the planning department was against a residential application - their position had now changed given two external factors.


Firstly, another application had been submitted which included a cinema complex in a location that they feel would be more appropriate for the area and as such would receive preference in any planning process.  Secondly, having reviewed the area in the light of the requirements to build more houses under government guidelines, the Council have now indicated that they believe that our site is the most sustainable in Keighley (being centrally located, 5 minutes walk from the railway and bus stations and adjacent to the new college and town centre facilities)and therefore are now encouraging us to submit an application for an entirely residential project.  Our consultants point out that the vast majority of the expenditure we have incurred to date with our previous application is still relevant, valid and required for the residential development and as such we have not wasted our time or money with the work that has been undertaken to date. We would also stress that as our main tenants had given notice to quit and as it would have been extremely difficult to find replacement tenants potentially making the company responsible for the rates and insurance on the property exceeding £70,000 per annum our decision to demolish the buildings, especially as this was achieved at no cost to the company, was definitely the right thing for us to do.


We therefore intend over the next couple of weeks to submit an outline planning application for residential use of between 150 and 200 dwellings. 


Whilst we are disappointed that quite a lot of time has elapsed since we originally began the process we are reassured by our consultants and other interested parties that this change will ultimately be a considerable benefit to the company.  All of the actions we have taken to date have been necessary and correct in view of the position we have found ourselves.  We will inform the market when the revised planning application is submitted.



Anne Alesbury, PD Cosec Limited, Company Secretary, 020 8940 0963

Roland Cornish, Beaumont Cornish 020 7628 3396


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