Rented homes plan seeks to erase city centre eyersore

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Dozens of bedsits which have been branded an eyesore in a conservation area of Bradford are due to be converted into family homes.

The 61 empty units at Chain Street and Roundhill Place will become 14 three-bedroom homes, one two-bedroom property and one single-bedroom house.

The scheme has been drawn up in a partnership arrangement involving the city council and the Bradford-based Incommunities housing association.

The social landlord has submitted a planning application to create the 16 family homes in the Chain Street area – across Westgate from John Street Market.

The designs set out to retain the character of the blocks in the Goitside conservation area.

Incommunities’ assistant chief executive for asset management, Jez Lester, said: “The re-development of the Chain Street area is a key priority for Incommunities and this planned scheme is unique in offering new family-sized houses within the city centre.

“It also makes good business sense to turn low demand out of date bed-sit accommodation into much needed affordable larger homes.

“Delivering these new homes would also play an important role in the regeneration of the Goitside area.”

Bradford Council’s executive member for housing, Councillor Val Slater, added: “This is an important step towards replacing eyesore buildings in Chain Street, which blight Goitside, with high-quality, family housing.

“Ultimately, we hope there will be more than 70 new homes built in and around Chain Street and completion of the work there will support wider regeneration of the city centre.”

Incommunities has secured £375,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency for the renovations and conversions at Chain Street and Roundhill Place and a £100,000 grant from Bradford Council’s empty homes programme.

If the proposals are approved, work could start in Spring 2012.

The conversion scheme is part of Incommunities’ multi-million pound affordable homes programme supported by the Homes and Communities Agency. The programme could make about 230 rented homes available for local people over the coming four years.