Bradford Orphanage Demolition Approved

The demolition application was approved by the Council on Thursday.

The demolition of a Victorian orphanage will be “a sad day for Bradford’s heritage” according to the city’s Civic Society.

Planners at Bradford Council have granted permission to demolish Joseph Nutter House, next to Horton Park.

They said that because the building is not listed, or in a Conservation Area, there was no reason under planning law they could block the plans.

And the Telegraph & Argus can reveal that Historic England had recently rejected a call to list the building, saying it “lacked special architectural and historic interest.”

The orphanage was opened in the 1880s, and was built thanks to a donation by local philanthropist Joseph Nutter. It was more recently used as a College building, but has been empty since 2016.

Mohammed Farid submitted a demolition application to the Council, describing the building as “derelict” and a health and safety hazard. He said a new employment development would replace the building once it was razed.

Despite numerous objections, the demolition application was approved by the Council on Thursday. A report by planning officers said: “Whilst the building may once have been of some distinction and has a noteworthy

heritage, it is neither listed nor within a conservation area and so is not statutorily protected. Control of the local planning authority is therefore restricted to only considering the method of demolition and the subsequent restoration of the site.

“The proposition has generated a notable level of representations. The majority of representations would favour the building being retained given its historic interest. The application is not a planning application, and only the specific matters noted above can be considered.”

They said a separate planning application would have to be submitted for any redevelopment of the site.

The Bradford Civic Society is one of the groups that objected to the demolition. Chair Si Cunningham said: “It’s a sad day for Bradford’s heritage, but ultimately it looks like the council’s hands were tied.

“We made our objections clear. Unfortunately when a building isn’t listed or in a conservation area, it’s an uphill struggle to stop a demolition.”

Historic England had recently been asked to consider listing the building, which would have given it protection from demolition.

However, the organisation rejected the bid on Tuesday.

Their report said: “This private orphanage building in Bradford represents an old fashioned approach for its date to the accommodation of orphans, at a time when attitudes to the welfare of destitute children were changing.

“It employs a standard domestic design and composition for its late date, and the detail is unexceptional.

“Listed orphanages are generally considerably more architecturally accomplished, and often associated with a renowned national designer.

“This former orphanage has clear local interest as a privately funded late-C19 health and welfare building in Bradford. However, within a national context it lacks the special architectural and historic interest required to qualify for listing.”

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