A PUB in a Bradford city centre conservation area could be turned into student flats if a new application is approved.

The Star on Westgate dates back to the 1890s, a time when Bradford was rapidly growing as a city, and is in the Goitside Conservation Area.

The pub is currently vacant, and an application has this week been submitted to Bradford Council seeking permission to turn the building into 24 student flats.

Submitted by Preston based Oakwood Investments, the application says the change would prevent another building in the Conservation area from falling into dereliction.

If approved, The Star would be the second pub in the Conservation Area to be lost to another use in recent years, following the Black Swan on Thornton Road being converted into shop units and flats last year.

The Conservation Area is currently deemed to be "At Risk" by Historic England.

Over its 120 plus year history the three storey pub has been a popular drinking venue in the city centre, with records showing it was used as a meeting place for the Bradford Angling Association in the early 1900s and the The Loyal Burgundy Lodge of Oddfellows.

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The plan is for the building to be divided into 24 en suite "high quality" student flats, with a gym and laundry room in the basement.

The application says: "The proposal is well-placed to meet demand in the area with University of Bradford located a short walk away.

"The proposed development at The Star Inn will allow a building that currently not in use to be high-quality studio spaces that will meet the demand of the growing Bradford student population."

A heritage statement included in the plans claims the change of use will improve the conservation area, as it would remove the modern pub signage that currently covers stonework on the building, and the removal of security features.

The statement says: "Whilst the building has been altered over the years the main elevations appear much as they would have done at the time of construction and externally the level of surviving fabric is high.

"The Star public house is constructed in high quality materials and appears to retain much of its original construction and masonry."

It says it is unlikely that the building would re-open as a pub.

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It adds: "The Star Inn was constructed as a public house in the late nineteenth century and as such the origins of the building through its age and architecture must be regarded as making a positive contribution to the character of the conservation area which has been designated to protect and enhance the built heritage of this part of Bradford.

"The building has however fallen vacant and is in need of reuse. Without re-occupation the building is at risk of deterioration and presently does not make a positive a contribution as it might if it were reoccupied, in active use and repaired.

"The proposal represents a significant investment in a vacant building which will secure its long-term future as student accommodation."

The application claims the work will also increase the number of people living in the Conservation Area - which could in turn lead to more demand for local businesses.

A decision on the application is expected in August.