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Fears that heritage features might be lost as listed building is turned into office
A Grade II-listed pub, now lying vacant, could get a new lease of life as an office.
The 18th-century Ring O’Bells, in Bolton Road, would be renovated and given a new roof terrace if the application were to be approved by planners.
But pub campaign group Camra has raised concerns over the loss of some of the building’s original features.
The applicant, Rehan Ahmed, plans to retain certain features, including the wood-and-glass bar area and the stained glass windows.
But the application says some of the historic features have already been lost, through either neglect or vandalism.
And to be able to convert the pub into an office, Mr Ahmed plans to make “many internal changes”.
A statement by his agent, Rashid Moghul, of JM Design and Planning, reveals the building has already been gutted by a former owner.
It says: “The accommodation has been stripped out and taken back to its shell, as part of an intended refurbishment scheme that was commenced by the previous owner but never completed.”
As part of the new plan, the wooden sash windows would be repaired or replaced like-for-like, a back yard would be turned into a rockery with a fountain, and a roof terrace added.
Existing internal partitions would be removed and replaced to make the layout more suitable for an office.
The features to be retained are the bar area with wood and glass partitions, wooden covings, picture frames, skirting boards, stained glass windows and the staircase handrail and balustrades.
David Boothroyd, chairman of Camra’s Bradford branch, said the Ring O’Bells was on their list of local pubs with interiors of special historic significance. He said they knew it had been lying empty and had no objection to it being put to another use, but their main concern was protecting its heritage.
Mr Boothroyd said: “Looking at the plans, it is quite clear that the bar will be preserved in some form – albeit as a reception desk – but will all the features survive?
“What is now annotated as ‘seating area’, and which will be totally changed to become ‘office’ and corridor is, in fact, a glorious example of a snug. There are so few of these left.”
The application will be considered by Bradford Council planners.
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