Planning Approval Would See New Site Secured for Energy Centre, Set to Deliver Bradford’s Zero Carbon Future
1Energy, the company behind the £40m Bradford Energy Network, has submitted a new planning application for the Bradford Energy Network’s Energy Centre.
The Energy Centre will be the hub of the network, using Air Source Heat Pumps to provide a low carbon heating source to connected buildings across Bradford city centre. The network will enable the most cost-effective way for businesses and organisations to decarbonise their heating and hot water, helping them on their way to Net Zero in the face of the advancing need to reduce carbon emissions.
The Bradford Energy Network will deliver an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a 90% reduction in nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions from city centre buildings, helping to tackle climate change and improve air quality.
Once approved, the new planning application will see the Energy Centre built on the southern section of a cleared site located at the junction of Thornton Road and Listerhills Road. Previously used as the Thornton Road Car Park, the site sits in a largely industrial area and has remained undeveloped for several years, with it now being overgrown with scrub.
The new planning application from 1Energy replaces a previous one that was submitted for the nearby former Beehive Mills site, and which was subsequently withdrawn in February 2023 after the owner indicated it wished to retain the site for its own use.
The heat network pipes for the Bradford Energy Network have already received planning permission from the Council in October 2022. The network is being built in the city centre at the same time as a series of Bradford Council highway and public realm improvements.
The Energy Centre itself will be a statement building, designed to reflect the proud industrial heritage of the area. The majority of the building will be clad in a timber-effect material, with composite metal-profiled cladding wraps around the lower part of the building.
Included in the planning application are plans for landscaping around the Energy Centre and along a planned access road to serve the development site, helping to make the site look more attractive, improving biodiversity, and potentially unlocking other underused development sites in the Thornton Road area.
Commenting on the application, Jeremy Bungey, Co-Founder and Director of 1Energy, said, “This application means we are now well on the way to delivering the Bradford Energy Network across the city, which will form the backbone of the city’s decarbonisation plans. The network is the most cost-effective way for businesses and organisations to decarbonise their heating and hot water supply and we are confident it will deliver major benefits for customers.
“It’s so exciting to be delivering this project at the same time as all the preparations are ramping up for the Bradford City of Culture. A modern city of culture deserves a modern energy system. Given the important role Bradford played in the Industrial Revolution, it feels very fitting that the city will now be at the forefront of the Energy Revolution, confirming the city’s ambition to be the UK’s leading clean growth district.”
Once the planning application is approved, construction of the Energy Centre is expected to begin in the autumn and be complete and ready to operate by early 2025, while works to the pipe network will be completed by late 2024.
The operation of the Energy Centre and the process of connecting customers to the network is expected to create five full time and five part time jobs in the area.