Fountains Hall, Bradford

Plans to demolish what’s left of this grade II listed building:

Fountain Hall Bradford

Sad to see this former Friend’s Meeting House in such a state of ruin following a fire around 25 years ago. Listed as an example of bold civic-mindedness by Victorian Quakers, the building was clearly sited to make a statement in the centre of this mercantile city.

If some miraculous civic benefactor could summon £10 million, with no illusions of a return on investment, then yes it would be fantastic to salvage this building. But of all the buildings I’ve longed to see saved, this one is undoubtedly the most unlikely.

Nonetheless, it would have been great to see the new development integrate the Victorian facade into a new scheme. Such a postmodern visual gesture would convey a deep reverence to (and investment in) the heritage, whilst segueing into a renewed identity of the city as the ’20s come around for the second (…or twentieth?) time.


5 responses to “Fountains Hall, Bradford”

  1. Judy Woods says :

    I have not had time to study this in detail however looking at the Application Form on Planning File its states and is Headed. Technically the document is not an accurate reflection of the circumstance as I understand it it is listed and Planning Committee should not be unduly confusion by the matter . The Buildings Status is listed until removed

    – Application for Planning Permission and for relevant demolition of an UNLISTED building in a conservation area Town and Country Planning Act 1990

    Dated 01 /11 /2019

    Historic England State

    Heritage Category:
    Listed Building
    List Entry Number:
    Date first listed:
    Statutory Address:

    This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

    Whats Changed ???????????????? Has the Building Been delisted

    Heritage Report

    3.1 Designations
    Fountain Hall is listed at Grade II; the adjoining commercial premises are undesignated.The buildings stand within the Bradford City Centre Conservation Area.

    3.2 Proposed developmen tListed building consent is to be sought from City of Bradford Metropolitan DistrictCouncil for demolition of Fountain Hall and redevelopment of the entire site to providea new mixed-use development of between four and six storeys, involving ground floor retail use and apartments above.

  2. Judy Woods says :

    I’d Also add that the Report which is a matter of one opinion does not robustly deal with the historic loss of the building character or indeed its setting in a Conservation areas should the scheme depicted pictorially in the report go ahead in that form

    The alteration, extension or substantial demolition of listed buildings will only
    be permitted if it can be demonstrated that the proposal:
    (1) would not have any adverse effect upon the special architectural or
    historic interest of the building or its setting.
    (2) is appropriate in terms of design, scale, detailing and materials.
    (3) would minimise the loss of historic fabric of the building

  3. peterrobertnixon says :

    I can only presume that the fire damage negates any merit conferred onto the building through listing status. Huge numbers of listed buildings are lost via this path, and rumours of arson often follow suit. I’m sure the press would be more vocal about it were they not terrified of claims of libel by the landowner (supermarkets etc.).

    I can’t find any old pictures of this building from before the fire damage so if anyone out there knows of any please get in touch.

    • Judy woods says :

      Hello Peter

      Yes Imaging is scant .

      If you click through to the Commissioned Heritage Report there is are some historic pictures together with the proposed monstrosity which is in no way in keeping with the conservation area . Also interesting to note there is no comment by the authorities Heritage or Conservation Officer and as I understand it the Area Conservation Team at York have not been contacted to date in regard to any demolition of a listed building. Please note that this agent is the commissioned agent for the deleveloper independent and informed opinion needs also to be sought

      They are three processes here The Demolition Of a Building on safety Grounds ( as per Nutter House ).

      The Listed Status of the Building and the requirement of an owner to maintain it

      And the Planning processes required to give due regard to an application and its context ( Local Conservation Area )

      Whilst the General Context of the LDP is a presumption in favour of development as part of that planning process , it appears to me that the application as made is in fact biased and in its current form supersedes the statutory considerations required of Listed Building and the requisites of fitting into a conservation area

      There are currently no objections on file . I’ll be happy to place a draft here should anyone wish to echo the same which is sufficient to take the matter to a planning committee

      The Authorities Designation

      Demolition of Grade II listed Fountain Hall and two-storey retail unit, and the construction of 57 no. apartments (Class C3(a)) along with retail space (Class A1) at ground floor within a part 5 and part 6-storey building, with cycle parking and landscaped courtyards.

      The Application Form

      Application for Planning Permission and for relevant demolition of an UNLISTED building in a conservation area Town and Country Planning Act 1990

      Planning Portal Reference: PP-08256950

      I therefore move by objection that the application in its current form made Nov 2019 is factually incorrect that the building for which demolition has been sought does have a statutory designation and remains LISTED at the time the application was made and the either the applicant or the local authority failed to acknowledge the necessary directions to allow relevant parties scope on the matter of demolition or replacement in keeping witha conservation area or matters of alternate use or combined retention of the building or its facade

  4. David Rhodes says :

    What a shame and another building will be lost under the usual system employed here. I’d love to see Planning make a statement about the continuous loss of Bradford’s heritage. They do need something to hang their hat on, otherwise the usual appeal and inspector’s consent will follow. If you can wheedle out anything of substance let me know and I’ll object.

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