PLANS to demolish a listed mill building have been blocked by Bradford Council after the intervention of an archaeological group.

The Association for Industrial Archaeology raised concerns over the plans to tear down the prominent Grade II listed Gatehouse building on Bowling Old Lane, off Manchester Road.

The structure is the only remaining part of the Bowling Mill Company building, and dates back to the 1860s.

Earlier this year Joseph Parr builders’ merchants, which occupies the land next to the building, submitted an application to demolish it to make way for an extended car park.

The company said it had looked into restoring the derelict building, but that refurbishment works would cost at least £150,000 and were “uneconomical.”

The building is currently derelict, with one wall being supported by wooden props.

Grade II listed building on Manchester Road could be demolished under new plans

Planning officers at Bradford Council have now refused the application to knock down the gatehouse.

The Association for Industrial Archaeology is a group dedicated to “identifying, recording, preserving and presenting the remains of the industrial past.”

They are consulted on plans that may involve the country’s industrial past. Last year they objected to just four planning applications across the country.

The group had objected to this application, writing to Bradford Council to say: “Despite alterations and repairs this building is not without interest, and still retains some attractive features, in particular the clock tower.

“It would be a pity if this last remaining building of this former textile mill site were to be lost.”

Council heritage officer Jon Ackroyd said: “Alternatives to rebuilding are not generally considered by the structural report, and no compelling justification for the demolition is provided. The building has clear historical and architectural merit, also providing recognition of a mill complex otherwise largely demolished. Whilst the applicant has argued that repair of the building is unviable, this is not fully substantiated.

“The total loss of a heritage asset must be the final resort, and it has not been demonstrated here that all alternative solutions have been explored and discounted.”

Historic England had also objected to the demolition plan.

Refusing the application, planning officer Ross Hallam said: “As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification. Substantial harm to or loss of a Grade II listed building should be exceptional. It is not contested that significant works would be required to bring the building back into active use. No evidence has been provided assessing alternatives to the total loss of the building.

“The application as submitted provides insufficient information to justify the demolition of the grade II listed building.”

The agent for the applicants told the Telegraph & Argus that they were “obviously disappointed but the refusal was not unexpected.”

They said they were reviewing the situation to decide what course of action to take.