Townhouses and close to 400 flats are in mind for the Oastler market area. Credit: Bradford Council

First Bradford City Village CGIs revealed

ECF and the city council are working with 5plus Architects and re-form Landscape Architecture on the reinvention of a swathe of the city centre, led by 1,000 homes.

The new illustrations were launched this week as part of a special three-day Bradford Showcase event at Leeds Dock, running alongside the UKREiiF convention.

Built across the ‘Top of Town’ and Darley Street areas which includes the Oastler and Kirkgate Shopping Centres, the new City Village will repurpose what was historically Bradford’s commercial and retail area. It will create 1,000 homes, as well as independent retail and leisure opportunities, business spaces and a high-quality public realm.

Bradford Council is developing the plans in partnership with ECF (formerly the English Cities Fund).

The new CGIs reflect the latest development of the masterplan, which has been shaped and refined following feedback from hundreds of local people during the initial public consultation programme which ended in January 2024. Priorities from local people included more community amenities and services, a mix of housing types and more green spaces.

Initial proposals, which are still to undergo further public consultation, currently include:

Oastler: This site could contain around 70 townhouses, with gardens and parking, and around 380 apartments. The buildings could range from four to six storeys, with the potential for one building to reach a maximum of ten storeys.

Kirkgate: The site, still home to a shopping centre at present, is considered most appropriate for higher-density apartment living, with buildings set around attractive new courtyards. Around 400 new apartments could be accommodated, with lots of active ground-floor spaces for shops, places to eat and drink and other leisure uses. Potential building heights are still being explored.

Kirkgate is earmarked for high-density living. Credit: Bradford Council

Chain Street: This site could provide lower-density family housing in the form of modern townhouses, set around a new community green. Around 50 new townhouses could be accommodated, in a mix of two-four-bedroom properties with gardens and parking.

…while Chain Street will host lower-density living. Credit: Bradford Council

All three sites will include green spaces with three new community parks. On Kirkgate this will be in the form of a significant new linear park stretching along Darley Street, tentatively titled ‘Darley Park’.

Bradford Council’s lead member for regeneration, transport and planning, Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw said: “City Village is the next stage of our ambitious regeneration programme to reshape our city centre. Key projects like One City Park and Darley Street Market are now nearing completion and City Village shows the direction of the city centre for the next ten years – quality housing, more public spaces and a shift away from an over-reliance on traditional retail that has now changed forever with online shopping and changing customer habits.

“This draft masterplan is a key step forward to unlocking the funding and investment required to deliver the necessary regeneration to Bradford city centre and provide jobs and opportunities to people across the district.

“Our vision is to create a healthy, sustainable and community-friendly neighbourhood. While housing is at the heart of these plans, City Village will also create opportunities for new independent retail, cafes, bars and business spaces. Bringing more homes into the city centre will also increase custom for the existing businesses on North Parade, where our recent investment shows what a sustainable, greener high street can look like.”

ECF is a strategic joint venture between developer Muse, which has recently delivered the 56,400 sq ft One City Park office scheme in Bradford; investor Legal & General; and the government’s housing and regeneration agency, Homes England.

Around 1,000 homes are envisaged across the city centre area. Credit: Bradford Council

Simon Dew, development director at ECF, said: “Bradford is investing at an unprecedented level in its transport and public infrastructure to drive future success and realise its full economic potential. City Village is about responding to these new opportunities by balancing retail against other uses that will bring more people into the city centre.

“City Village will transform Bradford and these latest plans reveal the current thinking, and we’re really keen to hear what people think about them. There is another phase of engagement planned and we’ll encourage everyone to look at the plans and have their say before the final masterplan is approved.”

People will have another opportunity to have their say on the plans in autumn this year.  The planning application will be submitted in Spring 2025 and construction could commence later that year.

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