Bradford set to relax planning rules in historic quarter

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A council is considering allowing developers to carry out work on some listed buildings without applying for planning permission.

Bradford Council is looking to approve changes to planning rules to breathe new life into the historic Little Germany and Cathedral area where many former textile merchants’ buildings are empty.

Planning officers have been working with English Heritage and local group Little Germany Action to simplify planning rules.

It is proposed to introduce a Local Development Order (LDO) and a Local Listed Building Consent Order (LLBCO) which will allow some works to be done without planning permission.

Members of the Executive, which meets next Tuesday, will be asked to give permission for a consultation with building owners and other stakeholders.

The orders, if implemented, will grant prior consent for specific alterations and uses such as residential, leisure, office and retail.

Councillor Val Slater, Executive member for housing, planning and transport, said: “The regeneration of the city centre is vital to the city’s economic success in the future and this area can make a very important contribution to that regeneration.

“The planning consents granted under these orders will be strictly limited to work necessary to convert and re-use the buildings without harming the outstanding architectural appearance of Little Germany as a whole.”

Tammy Whitaker, of English Heritage, said: “Bradford Council is paving the way for these constructive changes to the listed building consent system, which will simplify life for developers whilst allowing the wonderful historic buildings in Little Germany to be reused and enjoyed.

“We have been working closely with the council, consultants and owners to deliver training on the changes and are excited that this could mean regeneration and a new lease of life to such an important area of Bradford.”