Urge For Re-Think On Bradford 'City Square' Plan

Bradford 'city square' plans. Picture courtesy of Greig & Stephenson Architects

A landlord who owns a building which is set to be demolished is opposing the proposals.

The landlord of a Darley Street building has urged Bradford Council to re-think plans for a new “city square”.

The Council revealed plans to create a new public square last year – as an addition to their plans to create a new market hall on the shopping street.

The market plans would see the former Marks & Spencer building on Darley Street flattened to make way for a new market and food hall. And the the Council will also be demolishing 10-14 Darley Street and 8 Darley Street to make way for a public square.

When the plans were announced officers said the Council may have to resort to compulsory purchase orders to go ahead with the scheme.

A planning application for the development was submitted earlier this year, and one of the landlords of the buildings earmarked for demolition has submitted an objection to the plans.

Andres Elizondo, who gives his address as being in London, wrote to the Council saying he is landlord of 8 Darley Street, currently a tobacco and ecig shop. He said he only found out about the plans after reading the Telegraph & Argus.

He said:

“Completely object to the plans as this involves the demolition of 8 Darley Street, which is a privately-held and currently fully tenanted site with a formal retail offer that adds value to the area. As I understand from the current plans, the main objective from the Council is to improve the trading conditions in the area and drive additional footfall to the surrounding businesses in the Kirkgate/Broadway corridor by flattening 10-14 Darley Street and 8 Darley Street to make way for the public square.

“I don’t see how the Council can justify demolishing a currently occupied site to improve the trading conditions for neighbouring unoccupied sites.

“I would like the Council to consider the possibility of undertaking this project excluding the property at 8 Darley Street, as I don’t believe it is critical to the wider objective being pursued. Given the small size of the property, I believe the overall project of building a public square could be achieved without the need of flattening out this site.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said:

“We are not able to comment on individual objections. However all objections to and comments in support of the planning application will be considered as part of the planning process.”

However, other responses to the application are more positive.

Historic England has said:

“There are benefits to opening up views and more direct access to the high-quality listed buildings along Piccadilly. This will enable more people to appreciate the buildings on a daily basis and hopefully contribute to sustaining their use and occupation.”

And a landscape architect’s response to the plans says:

“We fully support the application and believe it will have a hugely beneficial impact on the vibrancy of this part of the town centre. The proposed public square will provide valuable public space that will generate much needed activity and footfall in this important thoroughfare.”

The plans are part of a major re-development of the city’s markets that will see the Darley Street market host food vendors and retailers, a refurbished Kirkgate market selling non-food goods and the Oastler market flattened to make way for housing.

A decision on the application is expected next month.

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