A RETROSPECTIVE application to remove much of the roof of a conservation area building at Haworth and construct a dormer in its place has been rejected.

The history of the village – Haworth is famous for being the former home of the Bronte sisters – and its heritage buildings has led to much of it being designated a conservation area, meaning its buildings are protected from any works that would alter their traditional appearance.

In April, during lockdown, work started on the roof of 69 Main Street, a Grade II listed building in the conservation area.

After several complaints to Bradford Council, a retrospective planning application for the works was submitted by Paul Taylor.

It said the works were part of plans to turn the upper floors of the building, which is a cafe, into flats.

The application pointed out that a neighbouring building also had a dormer window, and added: “We believe the dormer window will comply with the council’s house extension policy and not unduly harm the conservation area.”

However, officers at Bradford Council disagreed, and the plans have been refused.

Although officers did not object to upper floors being converted to residential use, the unauthorised works to the roof led to the refusal.

Officers pointed out that while the neighbouring building does have a dormer window, this was installed before Haworth became a conservation area. Repeating the feature in the village’s other listed buildings would set an unacceptable precedent.

Conservation officer Jon Ackroyd said: “The dormer has resulted in the loss of most of the roof, and is wholly incongruous.

“Although a dormer exists on the neighbouring property, this in no way sets a precedent, being equally incongruous but significantly also present prior to listing.

“There is no public benefit associated with the dormer.

“The proposed alterations to the building would not maintain its significance and would cause harm to it and the conservation area.”

Refusing the plans, officers added: “Although a dormer exists on the neighbouring property, this in no way sets a precedent for accepting further detrimental change to heritage.

“The addition of incongruous dormer window enlargement to the rear elevation would cause significant detriment to the character and appearance of the host property, the setting of listed buildings and the Haworth Conservation Area.”

Haworth, Cross Roads & Stanbury Parish Council had also raised concerns about the plans.

Bradford Council also refused to grant listed building consent for the works for similar reasons.