A RETROSPECTIVE planning application for controversial work to a conservation area building in Haworth has been submitted to Bradford Council.

Last month, a number of Haworth residents raised concerns about work being done to 69 Main Street – a building in the village’s conservation area.

Builders had appeared to have started work to install a dormer window in the property.

Premises that lie within a conservation area have an extra level of protection – and any work deemed inappropriate or out of character is usually viewed harshly by planning departments.

Residents and local councillors raised concerns about the works with Bradford Council’s enforcement department, and the council said it would investigate whether the work broke planning or conservation rules.

Now a retrospective application has been submitted for the works, saying the dormer window does not have a negative impact on the building or the conservation area.

Haworth is world-famous for being home of the Bronte sisters.

The building, next to The Fleece pub, is a cafe spread out over three floors.

The new application is to turn the first and second floor into residential use, as well as building a dormer window in the roof to allow that floor to be used as residential space.

The application will likely put a pause on any enforcement action – until a decision is made.

The application, submitted by Paul Taylor, says a neighbouring building has a dormer window and that with the dormer being at the back of the building, the addition won’t be visible from the historic street.

It says: “We feel the actual affect on the building will be proportionate to the existing rear style and scale of the terrace in this particular location.

“Most of the buildings on Main Street still have residential accommodation above the ground-floor shops.

“As mentioned the rear dormer window will be in line with the existing neighbour number 71. In fact it will be built to a better specification and style.

“We believe the dormer window will comply with the council’s house extension policy and not unduly harm the conservation area for the following reasons.

“As can be noted, the next-door neighbour has a similar size and style of dormer. For this reason we see no reason why the applicant could not have the same in principle.

“We understand that the council wishes to discourage box-style dormer windows to the principal elevations in a conservation area. But because the dormer is to the rear elevation and has been designed to be more in keeping with the style of the rear of the building, we feel it does not have a negative impact on the building.”

A decision on the application is expected in late June.