Bradford’s 1970s ‘utopian estate’ set to be flattened to make way for modern housing

A 1970s ‘utopian estate’ in Bradford will be demolished to make way for more modern housing after major development plans are approved.

A request to level the mothballed Ripleyville estate off Spring Mill Street and build 73 houses in its place has been approved by Bradford Council.

Built using neighborhood design plans then in favor, the estate, near Manchester Road, is a collection of apartments and houses around courtyards, shared gardens and pathways – built to separate pedestrians from cars .

The so-called Radburn Design was meant to create vibrant communities, but quickly fell out of favor due to concerns about crime and the isolation of these developments from surrounding neighborhoods.

Ripleyville, like other areas of Radburn, has suffered from high levels of antisocial behavior in recent years.

Last September, Accent Housing unveiled plans to replace the entire site, 164 homes, with a modern social housing development.

The request was approved by Bradford Council planning officers, who pointed out that the new plans included features more desirable in modern housing estates – including energy-efficient homes, traffic-calmed streets and “rainwater gardens” “.

Ripleyville dates back to the 1860s and was conceived as an industrial model village built for philanthropist Henry William Ripley, director of Bowling Dyeworks.

It included almost 200 workers’ houses, a school, a church and allotment gardens, followed by a railway station in the 1870s.

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By the 1950s the estate had lost some of its charm – with many houses still running on gas and some properties looking neglected.

Many of the houses on the site were demolished by the Bradford Corporation in the 1970s as part of its “Bradford Development Plan” – which involved the clearing of a number of Victorian estates.

An area of ​​land between Baird Street and Ripley Street has been flattened to make way for what the application describes as a “new utopian estate creating a range of larger apartments”.

Homes from the 1970s were built to the Radburn design.

Accent’s app criticized the design, saying: “It is often referred to as an urban design layout that is characterized by failure due to its interconnecting lanes and green squares used as common entrances and exists for homes – helping to isolate communities and encourage crime, with poorly policed ​​roads and motor courts”.

Problems on the estate had “damaged the reputation of the region” – according to the company.

The new development will be a mix of nine one-bed houses, 15 two-bed houses, 37 three-bed houses, six four-bed houses and six five-bed houses.

In endorsing the project, planning officials said: “A number of measures in response to the objective of ‘green streets’ have been included, and this is achieved through the inclusion of constructions to accommodate the trees of street and rainwater gardens, the use of hedges and planting for garden boundaries, paving of streets and parking areas, narrowed and raised sections of roadway at junctions and a vegetated retaining wall to the parking lot.

“A shared space area is proposed at the junction of Baird Street and Spring Mill Street to allow better connectivity with the existing playground and a potential new sensory garden. All of this will help create attractive streets, friendly, low-traffic areas that hopefully support social activity, healthy lifestyles and play.”

Referring to the homes themselves, the tenders said: “The energy efficiency of homes will go well beyond current requirements and the upcoming upgrade to standards which is due to come into effect next year.

“Additionally, homes have been oriented south to maximize passive solar gain, and renewable energy technologies will be incorporated, including air and geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic panels.”

The new homes will also be equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles.