New plans submitted to convert vacant offices into flats in Bradford

Alexander House in Bolton Road, Bradford

Alexander House in Bolton Road, Bradford

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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

A FIRM which specialises in turning office blocks into flats is back with another plan for one of Bradford's vacant buildings.

London-based Absolute Living Developments hopes to transform Alexander House, the former Abbey National Direct call centre in Bolton Road into 94 apartments.

Last month, the firm's £7 million project to create 138 flats in the former Bradford Council office Olicana House, in Little Germany, was granted planning permission.

Head architect Andrew Norton said there were a lot of similarities between the two schemes.

He said: "Again, the building is completely vacant, it is just dead space."

And he said the company would be interested in taking on more projects in the city, and would be keeping an eye out for any other office buildings for sale.

"The thing with Bradford is that it has got so much redundant office space close to the city centre, which is why we keep on coming back there," he said.

"I just think in Bradford there are a lot of opportunities to be had, which is why we have been focusing our attention there somewhat, with Olicana and Alexander."

Alexander House lies within the Cathedral Precinct conservation area.

Mr Norton said it was "a cracking building" with an art deco-style sculpted stone facade, but that it needed to be brought back into use after five to ten years lying vacant.

Under its plan, Absolute Living Developments plans to divide the six-storey building into 61 one-bedroom flats and 33 studio flats for rent.

The building would be given a new roof and some windows would be replaced, but the rest of its exterior would remain largely unchanged.

While the development would not have its own car park, a basement would be turned into a cycle storage area for 100 bikes to encourage sustainable travel.

Mr Norton said: "The tenants are going to be key workers and graduate professionals, so it is affordable accommodation, which is effectively what Bradford needs right now."

The planning application has now been submitted and will be considered by planners at Bradford Council over the coming months.

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