A DEVELOPER has set their sights on converting one of Bradford’s long empty mill buildings into their first major housing scheme in the District.

AMAFHH Investments is a London based company responsible for a number of major housing and community schemes in the Capital.

The company is now planning on a number of major residential schemes in Bradford - and one development will be the regeneration of Brigella Mills, a long empty textile mill on Little Horton Lane.

The mill building, dating back to the early 20th Century, will be converted into flats under the plans, and new build apartments will be constructed on a large, vacant plot of land on the mill site.

The first of the business’ developments will actually be a smaller residential scheme next to Brigella Mills.

A planning application for a development of over 50 flats and ground floor retail space on a car park on Clarges Street, across the road from the Mill, is expected to be submitted to Bradford Council in the coming days.

The Telegraph & Argus was given a tour of the old mill building, which was purchased by AMAFHH in 2018, last week.

Many areas of the huge building, former headquarters for Hield textile manufacturers, are still surprisingly in tact.

Plan to turn derelict listed mill buildings into 117 apartments revealed

A wood panelled office looks no different than it probably did when the mill shut.

And despite looking fairly dated, the entrance lobby would be immediately familiar to anyone who used to frequent the business.

The huge mill chimney is also in near perfect condition, and will be retained as part of the development.

But other parts of the old mill are in a much less pristine condition. Most notably the roof space, which is still home to tonnes of spinning equipment that was likely too heavy for the previous owners to ever have removed, is infested with pigeons thanks to broken windows that were seemingly never repaired.

This has led to the equipment, the floor, and anything else in the large space, covered with a thick layer of guano.

Other parts of the mill are reminiscent of the Marie Celeste - with items left behind when the mill was vacated. One room contains dozens of suit jackets, many riddled with moth holes, and spools of weathered thread. Another contains a collection of metal safes and displays of fabric samples that the company would have used to advertise its wares. And a map of China lies on the floor of one corridor.

Many recent residential conversions in Bradford have been dominated by small studio flats and little to no public space. However, AMAFHH says their plan for the building - right next to one of the main routes into the city centre, is for the site to bring more life into the Little Horton area.

As well as flats the development will include space for local community groups, communal space for residents and an outdoor area of public green space. They also hope to retain some of the period features that still remain in the mill.

The first sign of the area’s future development will be the Clarges Street car park plans. The company is using local architects Design Studio North, and says it wants the development to feel like it belongs in Bradford, and not a generic design dumped into the city.

The new flats and retail building will include a car park within the building.

AMAFHH Developments was founded in 2014 and is based in London, although it has developed properties in a number of countries. Its flagship project has been a community focused hotel in the Brent Cross area of London.

CEO of the company is Laith Al Balaghi, who has big plans for Bradford.

Tom Maxwell, the company’s regional manager for West Yorkshire, said of the Clarges Street plan: “You can’t just impose something, we have spoken to local Councillors about the plans and they helped change things like the amount of parking.

“It is an important development, we felt we needed to engage with the Council and get their input rather than wait until the application is already submitted.”

Suggestions made by local Councillors have led to an increase in the amount of planned car parking spaces, and cycle parking spaces.

Referring to the Brigella Mills plan, he acknowledged that many in Bradford would be cynical about another plan to regenerate one of the city’s mills after so many similar schemes have failed.

But he said the company has much bigger ambitions than a simple flat conversion, adding: “The focus is creating a legacy development. Are you going to walk away from the development feeling proud? Are you going to look back in 10 years and feel proud about what you’ve brought to the city?

“We want this to be a place you could look at in years’ time and say’ ‘this is a vibrant centre of the community.’

“We are going big. It could be a simple flat conversion and you could still be proud of it, but we see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a development we feel is going to be amazing.”

The Brigella Mills site is one of a number of developments the company has planned for Bradford, and details of other sites are likely to emerge later this year.