THE planned conversion of a long empty Bradford pub into flats has hit a major hurdle after planning officers said some of the apartments would have a “claustrophobic” atmosphere.

An application to convert the Prospect of Bradford Hotel on Bolton Road into residential use - five one bed flats and three two bed flats complete with balconies, was approved in 2016.

But last year Josh Petty submitted a new application to Bradford Council to amend these plans to create an extra two apartments.

In this plan an extension would be built to the back of the building to accommodate stairs and a lift, and the basement of the Victorian pub would be converted into two, two bed flats.

Moving the stairs into the proposed extension would mean each of the previously approved flats would now be a two-bedroom flat.

But Bradford Council has now refused this latest application, saying while much of the scheme is acceptable, the basement flats would not provide a good living space for future residents.

Plan for extra flat in listed city centre building is refused over size concerns

One proposed bedroom would not have access to any natural light, and other rooms would have small light-wells that officers said would “severely restrict” the amount of daylight getting into the apartments.

Overlooking the city centre from a spot high on Bolton Road, the Prospect has been empty for a number of years, and is currently boarded up.

Plans to demolish the pub and build houses in its place were approved by the council in 2012, but the demolition never went ahead.

The application to convert the building into flats that was approved in 2016 would have also seen the creation of a 10 space car park for residents next to the pub.

Refusing the amended plans, officers said: “All proposed flats on the ground to third floor are of sufficient size, and all habitable rooms have access to natural light.

“The concern lies with the new flats proposed at basement level.

“Not all habitable rooms will have access to natural light, specifically bedroom two in flat two which will have no windows.

“In addition to this, there is doubt that adequate light would enter all other habitable rooms from the small windows proposed.

“Light wells can be an adequate means to provide natural light to basement rooms, however, in this case the light well is very narrow and with a 1-metre wall surrounding the light well at ground floor level light would be severely restricted.

“The only other light sources would be a small window and door to the front of the living rooms which lead out into a small courtyard.

“Whilst the courtyard is larger than the balconies above, the 1 metre wall surrounding the area at ground floor level would restrict light again. In addition to this, there would be no outlook for the occupants of these basement flats.

“The design would lead to a claustrophobic atmosphere in these flats which would be detrimental to the amenity of any potential future occupants.

“Whilst the majority of the application is considered to be acceptable, the issues discussed above in regard to the amenity of future occupants are significant.”

Officers also raised concerns that windows in the extension would allow people ascending or descending the stairs to see onto the balcony space, and into the living room space, of other flats.