Historic Grade II-listed warehouse 'occupied by pigeons' to be turned into homes

A derelict 1880s building in Bradford’s historic Little Germany district is to be brought back to use after plans for a residential conversion were approved.

44 Chapel Street is currently one of the sorriest looking buildings in the city centre, with most of its windows boarded up or smashed. The property is a Grade II-listed former warehouse – dating from when Little Germany was the business centre for what was then one of the world’s richest cities.

It is one of the properties that means Little Germany is home to the highest concentration of listed buildings in Europe, but the building has been derelict for well over a decade. Last year a planning application to convert the building into 13 flats was submitted to Bradford Council by Iqbal Singh.

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The application said the building “has been occupied by pigeons and a lot of pigeon’s droppings have started to accumulate.” It says the residential use will “bring a hustle and bustle and activities back into the local community and assist with a social role and night life.”

Chapel Street in Little Germany, BradfordChapel Street in Little Germany, Bradford
Chapel Street in Little Germany, Bradford

The application also suggested that work to restore and convert the building would start shortly after any approval. The application has now been approved by Bradford Council, with planners saying the work will make a “modest contribution” to the goal of creating 3,500 new homes in the city centre.

Officers said: “The proposed development is considered to strike an acceptable balance between accommodating modern needs and preserving the historical integrity of the listed building, while also ensuring its future maintenance. The core strategy indicates that Bradford city centre has been identified for 3,500 new homes, this development will play a role, albeit modest, in meeting that target.

“This also accords with the Bradford City Centre Area Action Plan objective for residential led regeneration within Little Germany. The Action Plan recognises that the 3,500 is likely to take place in the form of new build apartments and the conversion of existing buildings.”

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They argued that while more family homes are needed in the city – the limits of this listed warehouse meant smaller units would likely be the only way a residential conversion could succeed.

Planners said: “There is a desire to develop more family sized accommodation with two beds or more. Whilst this development will mainly provide one bed accommodation, the building has almost no capacity for extension given it is a Grade II-listed building within the Little Germany conservation area and its tight relationship with other buildings.”

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