Refurbishment of one of Bradford’s ugliest shopfronts ‘long awaited’

This claim was made by officers of Bradford Council who have this week approved the full refurbishment of 8 Rawson Place.

Despite being a listed building dating back to the 1800s, the ground floor shop is in a pitiful state.

Windows and doors are boarded up and covered with metal shutters, while the heritage details of the unit, designed by Herbert Isitt, have been covered with a modern, granite shop front.

Many of the other units on the street are also vacant.

But late last year a planning application to restore the building was submitted to Bradford Council by Harvey Alexander.

The plans called for the ground floor to be restored in the hope of attracting a new retailer.

A traditional shop window, ornate gutters and pilasters either side of the unit would be restored.

And the upper floors, also in a poor state, would be converted into four, two bedroom flats.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: 8 Rawson Place8 Rawson Place (Image: newsquest)

The application has now been approved by Bradford Council, with officers hoping the work could “stimulate further regeneration of the street.”

Conservation Office Jon Ackroyd said: “8 Rawson Place has long been disused and is in poor condition.

“The roof is known to be defective and the interiors affected by water ingress. Several properties on the street are unused and the result is a prevailing lack of vitality.

“The proposed adaptation of the upper floors will bring a purpose to the building. A new shopfront will result in a commercial unit which is more readily lettable.

“The proposed shopfront is thoughtfully designed and well detailed.

“The proposals would result in the long-awaited renovation of the property which it is hoped will stimulate further regeneration of the street.”

One condition of the planning approval is that the new shopfront and the replacement windows on the upper floors be constructed using timber frames.

Although no end user for the shop has been specified, the application says it could also end up being a bistro or gallery.

Built for a wool merchants, 8 Rawson Place has also been used as a glass and china dealer.

It lies within the City Centre Conservation Area, and is close to the Kirkgate Centre, which is earmarked for demolition as part of the City Village regeneration plan.

Its modern shop frontage was installed in the late 1970s when it became a Greenwoods menswear store.

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