The Black Swan, Frizinghall: New plan submitted to turn listed Yorkshire pub into restaurant

A developer has submitted new plans to convert a former Bradford pub, months after being told they had “no compelling case” to do so.

A planning application to turn the former Black Swan in Frizinghall into a restaurant have been submitted to Bradford Council. It follows the refusal of an application for a café/restaurant on the ground floor and bedsits on the first floor last year.

The new plans by Tirah Parveen have scrapped the bedsit element of the scheme, and the upper floor will now remain as the three bed home it was when the pub was operating.

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The new application details the pressures the hospitality industry has faced in recent years due to Covid and Brexit, and says the Grade II-listed Black Swan was one of the victims of this poor climate.

Black Swan in FrizinghallBlack Swan in Frizinghall
Black Swan in Frizinghall

Known locally as the Mucky Duck, the building dates back to the mid 1800s, and has operated as a pub since the 1890s. It shut in early 2023 due to “rising costs.”

The previous application was refused for a number of reasons, including concerns it would provide “poor living conditions” for the residents of the planned bedsits.

The council’s conservation officer Jon Ackroyd said there was a lack of information needed to justify the loss of such a significant venue.

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He said: “The public house use is a part of the social history of the building and its presence in the locality. The change of use to an alternative use from public house must be accompanied by a compelling case, which is not evident in the submitted documentation.”

In an attempt to overcome this concern, the new application says: “The hospitality industry is crumbling under the joint pressures of rocketing energy, rent, and food bills, staff shortages, and no-show bookings, amid the ongoing cost of living crisis and the aftereffects of Covid and Brexit.

“The Black Swan which previously was a successful business for several decades unfortunately was one of these public houses that suffered closure. The building has also suffered a lack of maintenance as customer numbers have reduced over recent year.

“The building had to have the front roof removed and new timbers installed due to an serious infestation of woodworm which had gone untreated. The condition of the building and the need for substantial repairs had contributed to the difficulty of finding a buyer when it came up for sale.

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“The proposed use of the ground floor area for a café/restaurant use is compatible with the previous use as a public house and continues the established use of the building for hospitality.”

A decision on the application is expected next month.

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