PLANS to build new homes on a former church site in a historic Bradford village have been approved.

Sixteen homes will be built on the former site of Sacred Heart Church in Thornton after Bradford Council planners gave the scheme the green light last week.

The site has been empty since the church was demolished following a shake up of churches in the Bradford District over 15 years ago.

Basi Smarter Homes submitted plans to build 16 homes on the Old Road site in September 2021, saying there had been little interest in land for employment use despite being heavily marketed.

Thornton is most famous as being the birthplace of the Bronte Sisters, and this site is a short distance from the Bronte Bell Chapel.

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In 2006, the local Catholic Diocese announced Sacred Heart Church would shut as part of a major shake up of Bradford’s Catholic churches.

The church, built in the 1930s, has since been demolished and the land has remained empty ever since.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sacred Heart Church as it appeared in 2009Sacred Heart Church as it appeared in 2009 (Image: google)

When the Telegraph & Argus visited on Wednesday, fly-tipping had been dumped on the site.

The planning application points out that there is a huge shortfall in new housing in Bradford in recent years. It adds: “There is a clear need for new deliverable and suitable sites to come forward in the short term to address shortfall.

“The scheme will include the delivery of much needed new homes on a brownfield site in a sustainable location close to services and transport links.”

20 per cent of homes on the site will be classed as affordable homes, and 32 parking spaces will be included.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The former church site in ThorntonThe former church site in Thornton (Image: newsquest)

Planning officers agreed that there was an urgent need for new housing in Bradford, saying: “In light of the record of persistent under-delivery and the housing land supply shortfall, there is an urgent need to increase the supply of housing land in the district.

“This proposal would provide much needed new housing in a sustainable location and on a previously developed site. The principle of development is therefore considered to be acceptable.

“The indicative plans demonstrate that the site can be developed in a manner which relates satisfactorily to the character of nearby buildings and the wider locality, without resulting in a significant detrimental impact on residential amenity, highway and pedestrian safety or retained trees.”

One condition of the application is that each home will need to include an electric vehicle charging point.