PROPOSALS to build shops and flats on the former site of a Bradford church have been approved.

A scheme to build shops, flats and two semi detached houses on Broadway Avenue was refused earlier this year, after Bradford Council claimed the residential units would fall below recently adopted housing standards.

The developer went back to the drawing board, dropping the semi detached houses from the scheme, and the plans have now been approved.

The Little Horton site had been home to a Unitarian Church, but had remained empty since the congregation moved to another building.

Plans to build homes on the site had been approved in 2015 - but work never started.

The derelict church building burned down in 2018, and an application to build five homes on the site was approved last year.

However, that scheme also never went ahead.

Applicant Mr Siddique revealing a new scheme including shops early this year.

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That application was one of the first to fall foul of Bradford Council’s new “homes and neighbourhoods” policies, with officers raising concerns about the size of some of the planned flats.

Under the Council’s new housing standards, three bed, two-storey apartments should have a minimum floor area of 84 square metres. Two bed, two-storey apartments must have a minimum floor area of 70sqm.

In the previous application the three bed apartment would have just 70sqm of floor space, and the two bed flats would have 50sqm floor space.

Officers also raised concerns about the lack of car parking on the site.

But with the new plans removed the semi detached houses, and added an eight space car park behind the shop/flat units.

The flats have also been altered so they meet the Council’s minimum space standards.

There would also be a small storage unit on the site.

The latest application has now been approved by Bradford Council, on the condition that the shop units can only be used as retail.

They also have opening hours limited to being between 8am and 10pm.

Officers said the small size of the four stores meant they were most likely to be used by local residents, and not attract large numbers of people travelling by car.

Planning officers described the current site as “overgrown with scrubby plants/weeds.”

When the Telegraph & Argus visited yesterday there was fly tipping spread across the land, including two sofas and a table football toy.

Approving the scheme, planning officers said: “The proposal includes eight off-street car parking spaces which given the small size of the proposed retail units and flats is considered to be sufficient to cater for this development without causing harm to highway safety.

“This is especially so given the small scale of the retail units making them likely to principally serve the immediate area only.

“Previously the application proposed three and two bed apartments which fell well short of the required floorspaces.

“The current application has revised the internal layout and now proposed one two-bed two storey flat and three one-bed two storey flats with acceptable floorspaces.

“The two bed flat has a floorspace of around 79sqm where the space standards require at least 70sqm and the smallest of the three one-bed flats is around 57sqm whilst the space standards require 58sqm.”