A NUMBER of historic, long empty Bradford sites have been added to a list of “at risk” buildings that are in danger of being lost to dereliction or inappropriate development.

A city centre bank, old mills, an empty department store and a former chapel are among the latest At Risk Register produced by SAVE Britain’s Heritage – a national conservation charity.

The 2021 list was announced during an online presentation yesterday morning, and includes 11 buildings in the Bradford District. Buildings were suggested by members of the group as well as through public suggestions.

The full list of Bradford buildings that have been added to the list is: – Sunwin House, the former TJ Hughes department store on Sunbridge Road in Bradford city centre. It was built in 1935 as a CoOperative store.

– Whetley Mills on Thornton Road, built in the 1860s by Milnes and France. It is partially occupied, but much of the mill complex remains empty.

– The former NatWest Bank on Hustlergate, which has been empty since the bank relocated in 2017. A planning application to turn part of the building into bedsits was refused earlier this year.

– Barkerend Mills, Barkerend Road – Cannon Mill, off Great Horton Road. Part of the site is used as a shopping village, but many of the buildings on the site are long empty.

– 634 Great Horton Road, a Grade II listed house built in the 1690s.

– The former Belle Vue Hotel on Manningham Lane, which dates back to the 1870s. It has most recently been an Islamic Centre, but has been empty for several years.

– Manor House, Manningham, which dates back to the 16th century and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the area.

– Leventhorpe Hall, Thornton Road.

– Grange Congregational Chapel, Great Horton Road.

– Mill Building at Low Mill, Keighley.

The new buildings at risk register was announced on an online Zoom event this morning.

Liz Fuller from Save Britain’s Heritage said the buildings were included not because they were at risk of demolition, but that they had been “empty or neglected” with no obvious plans for the future.

She described Whetley Mills, parts of which are in use but much of which has been long empty, as “one of the best surviving textile mills in the District.”

She added: “Part of the site is in use, but the whole site is lacking a full solution. There were proposals in 2002 for a business and leisure complex and another in 2009 for residential units.

“At the moment there are no firm proposals for the mill, and it really, really needs an overall redevelopment solution.”

Sunwin House, built in the 1930s and one of the youngest buildings on the list, was described as having a “remarkable” frontage.

Mrs Fuller said: “It is a landmark building in the centre of Bradford.

"It was originally built in 1935/6 as a Co-Op, and was one of the first Co-Op buildings to have an escalator. It is an early example of an ‘open store’ design.

“Externally it is remarkable, with a lovely semi-circular turret.”

Although there had been recent plans for the building to possibly become an arts hub, there had been little progress, Mrs Fuller said.

The former Belle Vue Hotel is also thought to have been designed by Milnes and France and dates back to the 1870s.

Mrs Fuller described its design as “flamboyant” adding: “It has been empty for a few years. it closed as a pub in 1994 and then served as an Islamic centre for a while. It could be converted into business units or residential.”

Leventhorpe Hall is a crumbling 17th Century hall off Thornton Road. Historic England has described the building as being at risk for two decades. In 2018 a planning application to divide the hall into houses and build more homes on the surrounding grounds was approved, but work has yet to start.

Mrs Fuller said: “It has been empty for well over a decade, and conditions are very poor. Work has not commenced on the site, and the Council is very concerned about the condition of the building.”

Despite their inclusion in the list, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for two of the buildings.

A planning application to convert Barkerend Mills into flats was recently submitted to Bradford Council, and a decision on the proposals is due early in the New Year.

And Bradford Council bosses this Summer agreed that the authority would look at implementing a compulsory purchase order on the Manor House in Manningham – forcing the owners to sell the building to the Council, which would then look to restore it.

Referring to the new list, a Bradford Council spokesperson, said: “The council welcomes this initiative which raises the profile of important heritage buildings requiring renovation.

“We are ready to work with owners to secure sympathetic and sustainable solutions to restore and bring these buildings back to use.

“Where financial circumstances are challenging, we can help explore a broad range of funding opportunities in order to protect and preserve these valuable heritage assets.”