DIE-hard fans of the Brontes could soon be able to sleep in the building where the famous literary sisters were born. 

Bradford Council has approved a planning application from Bronte Birthplace Ltd to make alterations to the property at 72-74 Market Street, Thornton, to create four holiday let bedrooms - along with accommodation for activity workshops and outreach projects - while retaining the existing cafe use.

Although the Bronte family is more closely associated with Haworth - the village where they spent much of their lives - they were born in the Market Street house, which is now a Grade II*-listed building.

Patrick and Maria Bronte moved to the house in 1815, with their two infant children Maria and Elizabeth. The family soon expanded, with Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne all born in the house. They moved to Haworth Parsonage in 1820.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Bronte BirthplaceThe Bronte Birthplace (Image: Newsquest)
A design and access statement from agent Chris Eyres said: "The holiday let element is key to the long-term financial viability of acquiring the Bronte Birthplace for community use.

"The first floor rooms will provide three of the bedrooms in the position where bedrooms have existed previously. There is very little alteration required to the existing layout.

"En suite bathrooms will be provided to each of the rooms. Two of these en suite facilities already exist and will be reconfigured. The en suite to bedroom four is to be created in the existing small kitchen area to the rear ground floor room.

"The internal alterations are not structural works and the extent of the proposed works have been kept to a minimum. There are no alterations proposed to the external walls of the building.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Bronte sisters. Picture: Bronte Parsonage MuseumThe Bronte sisters. Picture: Bronte Parsonage Museum (Image: Bronte Parsonage)

"Existing features such as the fireplaces, fixed wardrobe, and writing desk will be suitably protected whilst building works take place and then retained as part of the finished scheme."

A decision report from planning officer Junaid Baig said 85 comments in support of the plan were received, along with three objections. 

Objection comments included it being a tourist site that should be "untouched" and "kept as a museum". One questioned: "Why do we need to commercialise this site?"

However, comments in support of the plan said it would help tourism in the area, would link Thornton to Haworth and would be a "great part of Bradford City of Culture 2025". 

The decision notice said: "On planning balance, the impact of the proposal would be acceptable within its setting, the proposal does not raise significant concerns regarding impact on visual amenity and residential amenity.

"There would be no significant impact on the host and nearby heritage assets."

The application was approved with conditions.

One of the conditions states the development should only be occupied and used for purposes of short-term holiday accommodation and should not be occupied as a person's sole or main place of residence. 

Another condition states that prior to any removal of existing windows, a condition report and method statement detailing how the existing windows will be repaired or replaced must be submitted to and approved.

This condition was introduced to maintain the appearance and integrity of the existing building.