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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Plans in place to turn section of grand city centre building into studio flats

A section of a grand Bradford building, once saved from dereliction thanks to “meddling” by King Charles, could become studio flats for “short stay occupants.”

An area of Eastbrook Hall on Leeds Road could be converted from office space into nine flats if a new planning application is approved by Bradford Council.

The building is part of Little Germany – an area of Bradford that is home to one of the highest concentrations of listed buildings in Europe.

Dating back to 1825, Eastbrook Hall had fallen into a poor state until a £12 million regeneration scheme began in the early 2000s, partly funded by the Prince’s Trust.

Then Prince Charles visited the completed scheme in 2008, and referring to his involvement in its regeneration said: “Being an inveterate interferer and meddler I couldn’t possibly stand back and do nothing.”

The building is a mix of flats, business units and office space – with the NSPCC having a base there until recently.

The new planning application, submitted by Mansuck Gorasia, calls for empty office space on the first floor of the Grade II listed building to be converted into a mix of eight studio flats and a one bed apartment.

It claims there is currently a shortage of flats in the Little Germany area.

The plans say: “This application is to convert the existing vacant space into apartments for short stay occupants in the local area.

“Due to the small number of available flats in Little Germany, the local area is in need of additional accommodation.

“The listed elements of the Eastbrook Hall will be kept untouched, and the development would in no way would be of detriment to the preserved elements.

“The intent of the proposal is to redevelop a currently unused and disregarded space.”

A heritage statement included with the plans points out that the building is part of Bradford’s famous Little Germany quarter.

It says: “Little Germany is considered as an area of particular historical and architectural interest, with approximately 55 listed buildings.”

The building was once the Methodist Cathedral of the North, and after the regeneration scheme is now home to over 70 apartments, a wedding store and a high end hairdressers.

It was listed by Historic England in 1981, with the heritage body in particular pointing out the building’s “mixture of Jacobean and Renaissance details popular in Bradford for public buildings at the turn of the century.”

A decision on the application is expected in June.

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