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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Business case approved

Plan to refurbish 1880s warehouse building a step closer.

A scheme to redevelop a derelict city centre building dating back to the 1880s is a step closer to finally coming to fruition.

Proposals to convert a warehouse building, 28-32 Canal Road, into apartments dates back over eight years.

It was sold as a development of “chic, London style apartments” just minutes’ walk from the Broadway Shopping Centre and Forster Square rail station.

Despite planning applications for the conversion being approved in 2015, work has never started, and the building remains one of several crumbling structures in that area of the city.

It was recently announced that the development had made the list of housing schemes that would be eligible for the Government’s Brownfield Housing Fund – set up to allow stalled housing schemes in urban areas to progress.

Now West Yorkshire Combined Authority has approved the business case for the scheme that would allow the development to apply for £1.3m from the fund.

The plans that were approved in 2015 were to convert much of the existing building into flats, demolish a shed area in the centre and replace it with a new build section.

It would have created 74 flats.

Since then the scheme has been amended by applicants the Canal 30 Apartment Company, including an altered frontage and flats reduced to 70.

The four-storey property, which is in the city’s Cathedral District Conservation Area, was built in 1884 by the Fattorini family who became famous for providing jewellery to the Queen and other esteemed clients, as well as creating the design for the FA Cup.

A number of other buildings in the Canal Road area also stand empty – despite numerous housing proposals over the years.

The business case for the Brownfield Housing Fund grant was made during the pre-election purdah period and only announced in the past week.

A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesperson said: “The Canal 30 project received full business case approval in to assist with the redevelopment of the derelict building into much-needed housing.

“Routine checks are now taking place on the Canal 30 project, alongside negotiations with the applicant, prior to signing any agreements.”

Housing schemes on Thornton Road and Rushton Avenue, near the Morrisons in Thornbury, have also been proposed as potentially benefitting from the fund.

In Bradford the fund has so far awarded grants to the redevelopment of a derelict building in the Goitside Conservation Area and the development of family homes on former high rise flat sites off Manchester Road and in Bingley.

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