PLANS to build retirement bungalows on a former reservoir site have been refused, with planners saying the work would be an inappropriate use of urban greenspace.

Heaton Reservoir was built in the 1860s as part of a project to bring fresh water from Wharfedale to industrial areas of Bradford.

Over three decades ago it was covered over by Yorkshire Water, and is now a large area of green space.

Earlier this summer, a planning application to develop a section of the site was submitted to Bradford Council.

The plans would see 25 dormer bungalows aimed at people over 55 built on the south-east section of the reservoir site.

Submitted by Dr Waheed Hussain, the application said the homes would give older Heaton residents a chance to downsize while still remaining in the area – which is dominated by larger homes.

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But this week, planning officers at the Council refused the plans for a number of reasons, including the impact on the Heaton Estates Conservation Area and for housing being inappropriate use for land designated as “urban greenspace.”

Heaton Estates is one of Bradford’s Conservation Areas – areas where development is more tightly controlled.

The assessment of this Conservation Area highlights the importance of the reservoir site.

It says: “The reservoir provides a green and open setting to the conservation area.

“The views into and out of the conservation area are important as they allow visual links to the surrounding areas.

“The sheer size of the covered reservoir creates a natural barrier between the green and leafy conservation area and Manningham, where the densely situated rows of terraced houses and prominent mill buildings and chimneys create a directly contrasting landscape and character.”

Referring to the bungalow application, Conservation Officer Jon Ackroyd said: “The contribution of the site to the conservation area is vital and even partial incursion would be wholly unacceptable.

“There is no public benefit which would achieve any comparison in magnitude to the harm which would result to the heritage assets.”

Planning officers also pointed out that the site is designated as “urban greenspace,” adding: “The redevelopment of the site for a residential use would constitute inappropriate and piecemeal development and would neither retain the open and green character of the area nor make a positive contribution to the character and amenity of it.”

Other reasons given for refusal include concerns over drainage, the loss of protected trees, highway concerns and a lack of affordable housing included in the plans.