7 - 13 Cousen Place, Bradford: the parcel of land on which the properties at Cousen Place stand was bought in 2007 by the Ridge Medical Centre who wanted to build a new Doctor's Surgery on the site. The cottages and villa are Grade II listed and the practice aim to convert the buildings to form a community facility and cafe, as well as a cottage which they will either let out or sell.

We were approached by the Healthcare Design Partnership, with whom we work on a number of similar projects, to act as conservation architects on the development. The buildings were in a desperate state. Cottages 7 & 9 had suffered from two fires, which had damaged the floor and roof structures and the stone roof slates had been stolen which was allowing rainwater to saturate the early timber frame. The roof and gable of no. 11 had collapsed and the villa forming no 13 had been severely damaged by a 1970's extension (former Cross Lane Liberal Club) and more recently by fires which had gutted the building.

The site lies within the Great Horton conservation area to the south-west of Bradford. The earliest building on the site dates from the mid 17th century and comprises a two-celled aisled farmhouse with an attached linear 2 or 3 bayed byre. The timber frame (within no's 3-9) may be of an earlier 16th century date and was also of 5 bays, being overclad in stone during the 17th century which was common practice in West Yorkshire during that period. No. 11 was added during the late 17th century, probably as a loom shop and the villa forming no. 13, on the end of the range, was added during the 19th century by William Cousen who was the owner of the adjoining mill. The farmhouse range had, by this time, been sub-divided into 6 workers cottages.

Preliminary emergency works included repairs to the timber frame, replacement of missing or fire damaged rafters and re-roofing, incorporating a breather membrane and replacing the stolen stone slates. Proposed works under the main contract involve extensive repair and consolidation to the existing structure and complete replacement of the roof and floor structures to the villa. No's 11 and 13 will form the community facility, with meeting rooms, wheelchair accessible WC facilities to both floors and a cafe. Replacement windows have been detailed to be contemporary with the date of the original openings, some double sliding sash and some simple fixed and side hung casements (to the mullioned openings), however, the slender frames are to be double glazed to improve their thermal efficiency.



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