A leading architectural historian has questioned whether plans to revive the heart of Bradford are the right way forward.

Gavin Stamp has branded the Park at the Heart scheme, which includes a large mirror pool, as "alien" to the city's Victorian heritage.

And in his just-published book Britain's Lost Cities he asks whether the near £30 million plan to develop a community focal point in the city, is in keeping with its architectural heritage.

He praises Centenary Square, describing it as admirable, but he writes: "The proposal to create a large lake in the city centre suggests that modern Bradfordians have taken leave of their legendary hard-headed common sense."

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, he said: "It seems to me to be gratuitously alien to a city like Bradford. What is the lake for? It does not suit the nature of the city."

Mr Stamp, who lines up Bradford with Dundee and Plymouth as receiving the worst treatment from architects and town planners, warns about falling into the same trap as the planners and architects of the 1950s and 1960s.

He blames them for overseeing the destruction of the Victorian heart of the city and construction of poorly designed concrete multi-storey blocks.

He said: "The inadequate and unnecessary post-war rebuilding of Bradford now seems a criminal waste of money, energy and materials. The work of the 1960s was so cheap - it was not appropriate. Look how much now has to be replaced," he adds.

He also supports the campaign to save the Odeon cinema saying it was a building worth preserving - a view not shared by English Heritage which has rejected four applications for it to be given listed status.

Councillor Andrew Mallinson, Bradford Council's executive member for regeneration, said Mr Stamp's views seemed out of step with the latest Park at the Heart design ideas which are now only one step away from getting £24.5m of Lottery cash.

He argued that a water feature in the city centre was not an alien feature because Bradford beck once ran openly through the city.

Coun Mallinson said: "It is four years on from the Will Alsop plan and the new development is a multi-functional Park in the Heart scheme with a water element."

"It will be a community focal point where people can come together to enjoy their surroundings. There will be seating, trees and grass reflecting what was in the centre in the past."