“Rare” Chimney In Bradford Saved

A proposal to convert Hollings Mill into 89 student flats was submitted to Bradford Council last year.

Plans to demolish a “rare” chimney in a Bradford conservation area have been blocked by Bradford Council.

A proposal to convert Hollings Mill, off Sunbridge Road, into 89 student flats was submitted to Bradford Council last year.

The building is in the Goitside Conservation Area, and the plans would involve the demolition of a number of buildings on the site, including a large brick chimney, to create a landscaped garden area for future residents.

These demolition plans were heavily criticised by the West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service, which described the chimney as being a “rarity in the district and county”.

Although there has not yet been a decision on the residential conversion plan, Bradford Council has told the developers they will not be able to knock down the chimney – refusing a planning application by H Hussain to demolish part of the site.

The building, currently semi-derelict, was built as a wool combing mill, and the site is part of the Goitside Conservation Area.

A letter from the archaeological service to the Council said: “The WYAAS do not consider the proposed demolition of the mill chimney be justified given its rarity in the district and county and its location in and contribution to the conservation area.

“It should be retained.

“The 19th-century building fronting Lower Grattan Road (123 Grattan Road), which may pre-date the creation of Sunbridge Road, also contributes to the conservation area and should be retained.

“Demolition of several structures within the mill complex and the mill chimney will have a detrimental impact on the Goitside conservation area.”

These concerns were echoed by Council planning officers, who refused the demolition application based on “unjustified loss of a rare mill chimney detrimental to the heritage asset and wider area”.

Goitside Conservation Area lies on the outskirts of the city centre, from Thornton Road to Westgate, and takes in areas of Grattan Road and Sunbridge Road. Many of the buildings are Victorian textile mills and warehouses.

Last year national group Civic Voice highlighted the area as being one of the most at-risk conservation areas in the country, plagued by vacant heritage buildings.

Si Cunningham, chair of the Bradford Civic Society, said; “The national arm of our charity – Civic Voice – highlighted the Goitside as being an ‘at risk’ conservation area, so we’re pleased to see that significant consideration has been given to protecting one of the area’s unique industrial landmarks.

“We welcome the redevelopment of the site, but it can only be enhanced by preserving these sorts of features that are unique to Bradford.”

A decision on the residential conversion is expected later this month.

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