A DEVELOPMENT of family homes can be built on the site of a former sheltered housing scheme in Undercliffe.

An application by social housing provider Incommunities to build 25 affordable homes for social rent on a brownfield site off Otley Road has now been approved by Bradford Council.

The site was previously the home of Sycamore Court - a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly that was built in the 1970s and was also run by Incommunities.

Approving the homes, planning officers said housing was a good use of previously developed land in a residential area, with good transport links.

However, concerns have been raised over whether there are enough local school places for any children moving into the homes, as most of the nearby secondary schools are full.

Incommunities first announced plans to close Sycamore Court, next to the East Ward Labour Club, in 2015. The group began re-housing its residents shortly after.

The company had said the number of tenants living in the building had dropped, leaving a quarter of flats empty, and that it was “unviable” to invest in the building further.

Last year plans to demolish the 1970s building were approved by Bradford Council, and the application to re-develop the site submitted shortly after. The land has already been cleared of the old buildings.

An Incommunities spokesperson said the development would comprise 15 three-bedroom and 10 four-bedroom houses. Work is expected to start on site later this year.

The Council has received no objections to the plans from the public.

In the application, Incommunities said: “The proposed housing will provide high-quality affordable housing and help with the sustainability of schools, shops and other services in the local area.

“As the site is within walking distance from the heart of Bradford, it will potentially help to increase the foot count in the city centre where shopping outlets, employment, and entertainment venues are located.

“Overall it is the intention that the new development will improve the built environment when compared with the now dated housing and older buildings in the area.”

Schools officers at the Council said: “Based on the data available in February 2019, the housing development may cause concerns on where children of families coming to reside in the development might attend school.

“Currently the secondary schools are overcrowded or full in every year group.

“There are however places currently available in the lower age groups across the primary schools.

“It may therefore mean that the Council would need to work with the secondary schools to increase the number of secondary places in this area.”

Approving the development, planning officers said: “The scheme provides a residential scheme on a previously developed site.

“The scale, form, layout and design of the proposal are acceptable and present no concerns with regard to residential amenity, visual amenity or highway safety.”

The plans were approved on a number of conditions, including that Incommunities provide each house with an electric car charging point. The scheme has 45 parking spaces.