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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Plans to ‘revitalise’ crumbling city centre building are approved

A crumbling listed building in the centre of Bradford can be refurbished and brought back into use after plans to “revitalise” the property were approved.

To most passers-by, 26 Kirkgate seems to be in good condition for a building constructed in the 1870s.

But heading up Dale Street, the extent of the four-storey building’s neglect becomes clear, with the rear of the building’s roof having collapsed and many of its windows either boarded up, damaged or non-existent.

Vegetation is also growing out of parts of the building’s stonework.

The ground floor shop unit to the front, Falafel and Juice, is currently the only part of the Grade II-listed building that is occupied.

Earlier this year A&J Investment Management Limited submitted a planning application to completely refurbish the property, repair the roof and windows and re-open doorways on the Dale Street elevations to allow the building to once again be used on a commercial basis.

The modern frontage to the existing ground floor business would also be replaced with a more traditional frontage, although the business would remain.

The application for the work has now been approved by Bradford Council, as has listed building consent, with planning officers saying it would secure the future of one of Bradford’s many listed buildings.

The application said: “The proposed revitalisation plan for the building is set to bring about a holistic transformation, emphasising the restoration of its original character. The project envisions cleaning the existing facades to revive the quality of the stones, ensuring a visual nod to the building’s heritage.

“The unoccupied areas present an opportunity for potential tenants or uses to maximize the building’s available space.

“Given that the building is situated in a commercial area within the city centre, there is a prime opportunity to fill the vacant spaces with either mixed-use or commercial ventures.

“The strategic location presents an ideal setting for businesses seeking a central and accessible hub.”

Conservation officer Jon Ackroyd described the building a “highly elaborate four storey block with fine Italianate detailing” and said the proposed work could “revitalise” the property.

Approving the scheme, planning officers welcomed the changes to the existing shopfront, which they described as “low detailed and a visually incongruous commercial frontage”.

Referring to the wider refurbishment, they added: “The proposal would assist with the continued use of a historic structure, and would retain the existing commercial use.”

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