A DEVELOPER planning to turn a large office building into flats will need to publish a “cricket ball strike risk assessment” before the work goes ahead.

And the report will have to detail whether “ball strike mitigation measures” need to be implemented to prevent future residents from being hit by errant cricket balls.

Proposals to turn Aire Valley House in Crossflatts into 139 flats were proposed earlier this year.

But the location of the building – next to Crossflatts Cricket Club, raised concerns that future residents, and their cars, would be at risk of being hit by balls.

One objector to the plans said the issue would be exacerbated “if Jim O’Hara is bowling.” As well as club members, concerns were also raised by Sports England.

They said balls regularly find their way into the car park of the office building, and if it was filled with hundreds of residents then the danger of a person being hit by a ball would increase dramatically.

The English Cricket Board said the building falls within the “ball strike risk zone” and called for the developer to install a net or similar barrier between the club and the new flats.

Applicants ARC BBWYKUK001, submitted two applications for the scheme, which also involves the conversion of neighbouring building The Hive.

One application was for “prior approval” – under current planning law developers can turn empty office space into residential without the need for planning permission.

Councils can only block such approval if they have serious concerns about highways issues or Environmental problems that the work would cause. In October Bradford Council agreed to this prior approval.

Officers said that as it was not a regular application, they could not condition the barrier requested by club members. However, the developers’ second application was a more traditional planning application – for works to the building including new,larger windows and minor demolition works.

Bradford Council has now approved this second plan, and conditioned that the developers recognise the concerns about errant cricket balls before conversion works start.

Planning officers said: “The proposed alterations, that are adjacent to the cricket ground, are at risk of ball strike.

"The new windows and enlarged window openings will increase the risk of a window being hit by a cricket ball and subsequently causing damage to property or persons.

“It is considered that the proposed development gives rise to a potential conflict with the use of the playing field for cricket.

“The applicant has accepted that there could be a requirement for measures to reduce the risk to both the buildings and personal safety.”

The approval for the works is dependent on a condition that: “Prior to the commencement of development, a cricket ball-strike risk assessment shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority. In the event that ball-strike mitigation measures are required, details shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Authority.”