Historic 19th century building in Bradford could be turned into flats

A landmark city centre building will be refurbished as part of plans to breathe new life into the vacant listed property.

A planning application to convert the upper floors of 55 Leeds Road, the former Home of Sunrise Radio in Little Germany, into apartments has been submitted to Bradford Council. The plans would see the ground floor retained as a refurbished commercial space.

The application claims that current works to drastically change traffic in Bradford city centre will “affect the property in a positive way.”

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Built in the 1860s, the building is one of many in the Little Germany area that was constructed to house the city’s growing wool and textile trade.

Sunrise House in Little Germany in BradfordSunrise House in Little Germany in Bradford
Sunrise House in Little Germany in Bradford

The building and its neighbour 53 Leeds Road were listed in 1983, with Historic England saying at the time “This rich Italianate design holds an important corner site.”

Submitted by Sunrise Bradford Ltd, the application is for a ground floor commercial unit and 23 apartments – a mix of studio flats, one bed and two bed flats.

The application says: “Little Germany is a wonderful place of unique concentration of beautiful Victorian listed buildings where people live and work. Our intention is for the renovation/alteration works to further enhance the visual amenity of the area without being detrimental to the local community.

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“The proposed use as a residential/commercial unit brings about a vibrant use for the internal space by providing a city living accommodation that will revitalise the vacant building and help in the government’s housing targets.

“The granting of planning consent will help generate local short and long term employment of builders, as well as assist the businesses of builder’s merchants and other building material suppliers-which will be beneficial to the local economy.”

The building, at the junction of Leeds Road and Vicar Lane, is in the centre of a major Government funded re-modelling of Bradford city centre’s streets. Changes include the junction of Vicar Lane and Hall Ings/Leeds Road being closed to traffic, with Well Street becoming a new route for public transport.

Referring to these works, the application says: “This proposal will affect 55 Leeds Road in a positive way. The plans will reshape Bradford city centre by improving walking and cycling routes, removing traffic from some roads and introducing new green outdoor spaces for people to enjoy.”

The application also claims the developer is keen to undertake other schemes in the Bradford area. A decision on the application is expected early next year.