A NEW development of flats could be built in Bradford city centre if plans are given the go ahead.

An application to create 14 flats at 20-22 Barry Street, has been submitted by Altaf Holdings Ltd.

Documents submitted with the application say existing retail units on the ground floor are to be retained, but retail units above will be converted for a residential use.

A heritage statement says: “The property is in the western area of Bradford City Centre Conservation Area, which has a much rougher working-class character and a run-down image compared to other areas of the conservation area.

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“The layout of Barry Street, and the unattractive qualities of the modernised shop fronts makes this one of the areas unattractive to shoppers and forces them to travel along the more

pedestrianised routes.

“The proposed site of 20-22 Barry Street, is one of the many underused buildings in the area. Although the building is in use, there is the problem of redundancy on the upper floors, which ultimately leads to neglect.

“Without investments into conversions of properties, a negative image of the city is created.

“The aim is to achieve the successful juxtaposition of old and new within the conservation area, creating a pleasant and enticing development.”

It says the property is one of a number of buildings erected by Irishman Michael John Barry, who was born in County Monaghan in 1846.

When he arrived in Bradford, he took up an apprenticeship with John Wesley Smith, a tinsmith in Westgate.

When Smith retired, 23-year-old Michael John took over the running of the firm and turned it into a company which would go on to have a worldwide reputation for its brazed copper bath boilers, copper circulating cylinders, cisterns, tanks, ventilators and copper lamps.

Barry started his ventilator business from a factory in Sackville Street and at the time, there was a lot of land around which had been the site of a quarry.

He then began to build in the area and when the buildings formed a thoroughfare they were called Barry Street.

The site of the application, Owens Buildings, was named after his wife, Mary Anne Owens. The date stone has his initials carved on it and also has carved shamrocks as a marker of his homeland.

The application adds: “The styling would be to match the traditional characteristics associated with the surrounding area that it lies within.

“Eaves and ridges will not be altered. The existing natural stone boundary is to be retained to the rear, helping screen the proposal from the public highway and adjacent residential dwellings. Due to the building’s city centre location and proximity to public transport, parking has not been included in this scheme, nor is it required.

“The proposal will lead to no detrimental effect on the surrounding area.”