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Historic mansion can be restored to a home
A celebrated heritage building can be restored to its original use after a long-running planning battle came to an end.
The owners of Ilkley mansion Heathcote, which was designed by Edwin Lutyens, had originally applied to turn the villa into two homes, despite opposition from heritage organisations including the Lutyens Trust, Ilkley Civic Society and the Ancient Monuments Society.
However, the application was withdrawn and another, asking permission to turn the Grade II*-listed property on Kings Road into one home, has now been approved by Bradford Council.
The house, dating from 1906, was sold by service company NG Bailey in 2011, with a £2.5 million price tag, after serving as offices for the firm since 1958.
The identity of the current owner has not been confirmed, but a decision letter to law firm Cobbetts LLP, who made the application on behalf of the owner, says the changes can be made.
“The proposal is solely for the change of use of the building to a single dwelling, which would restore the original intended function of this special building and pave the way for future restoration and conservation,” the letter says.
“No physical changes to the fabrics, fittings, setting or interior of the listed building and heritage assets are proposed as part of this application and these would be controlled under Listed Building Control regime.”
Meanwhile, an application to turn two cottages on the site back into homes is being considered by the council.
The cottages, part of the Heathcote estate, were also used as offices by NG Bailey.
The current owners want to transform them back into houses and also fill in an access gate to an external wall on the site.
However, the plans have drawn criticism from the Lutyens Trust, who say they do not object to the idea of turning the cottages back into homes, but “object strongly to the piecemeal breaking up of the estate into a number of applications with no benefit to the historic asset as a whole”.