A RUN down area of Bradford city centre could soon be transformed by a massive new development scheme.

A long vacant former gasworks site near the junction of Thornton Road and Listerhills Road is the subject of one of the biggest private development plans for the city centre in recent memory.

If a new planning application submitted to Bradford Council is approved, the scheme would see the construction of 376 apartments, a doctor’s surgery, new petrol filling station, drive thru restaurant, and five shops on the site.

There will also be “flexible” office space.

The application says the development of the site would be “good news” for the city after it was snubbed in the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan, with a planned new high speed rail station for the city scrapped.

The site is the former home of the Bradford Gas Works and Listerhills Foundry, and for years has operated as a car park.

The application has been submitted to the Council by Mohammed Ishtiaq of Mi 7 Projects - who had a major role in the creation of the nearby Green student village at the University of Bradford.

The main section of the development will be on the former gas works site off Thornton Road. It would be here that the bulk of the flats, the drive thru restaurant, the filling station and the doctors’ surgery would be built - part of a ten-storey building.

A five-storey building made up of five shops, and outdoor seating area and more flats would be built on a triangular plot of land at the junction, with is currently often littered with remains of fireworks.

An area of land on the other side of Listerhills Road would house a ten-storey block of flats, which would be called Globus Killarney.

The application says 108 of the flats would be classed as affordable housing.

The site has long been identified as one of the main brownfield sites in the District that would benefit from development.

Plans to include 'managed accommodation' in redevelopment of derelict Bradford building are scrapped

Bradford Council’s City Centre Action Plan, drawn up in 2013, said the site could become an important “gateway” to the city centre if developed, and the authority said up to 400 homes could be created on the site.

And more recently the site has been included in the draft Local Plan for the District, which plans where development will take place between now and 2038.

The site is described as having the potential to accommodate 300 homes.

But for years there has been little sign of any development plan.

It is next to another long stalled development - the conversion of the crumbling Stephensons Building into 113 flats which re-emerged last year.

A letter included in the application by planning agent Jo Steel details the difficulty of developing housing in this area of the city. It says development costs are high, and house prices low - meaning many developers are reluctant to take on the many brownfield spaces here.

It also says the developer will seek support from West Yorkshire Combined Authority with the development. The Authority has recently agreed to help fund the development of housing on brownfield sites in Leeds and Pontefract.

The application says: “The indicative design of the proposed apartments and the height of what is indicated will offer considerable presence together with a modern and distinctive visual appearance.

“It should be appreciated that any housing scheme in this location is reliant on support. This scheme is no exception and to achieve viability a mix of uses is proposed and additionally grant support from the Combined Authority is needed.

“High build costs and low values make this part of the inner City unattractive to private house builders. Added to this is the inescapable and very high cost of remediating he former gas work site.

“It is therefore essential for the applicant to have the assurance that a mixed use scheme will be supported. This will give the necessary confidence to commit to the very considerable expenditure needed to progress to implementation.

“Prominent works on this scale alongside a major access into the City Centre will offer a confidence boost and can act as a catalyst for further investment.

“Given the disappointment of the National Rail package delivering nothing to the City, this major investment can be seen in that context as being some much needed ‘good news.’”

A decision on the application is expected in early May.

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