A PLAN to convert Bradford's former Abbey National call centre into 94 flats can go ahead after "permitted development" for the building was approved.

The 47,600 sq ft, six-storey office building on Bolton Road, which is next to Napoleon’s Casino, has been empty for a number of years.

This summer a Mr Khan revealed plans to convert the building, creating 61 one-bedroom flats and 33 studio flats.

The proposals were not a planning application but a permitted development notification.

The Government relaxed planning laws several years ago to allow developers to convert empty office space into residential use without the need for planning permission.

Council says it has ‘no control’ over quality of flats created through permitted development

It also means applicants do not need to provide details such as floor layout to planning officers. And councils have very limited powers to block residential conversions under permitted development.

Officer at Bradford Council have agreed that the development of this building, also known as Alexander House, can go ahead, saying: "the current application raises no concerns in terms of contamination, highways or flooding and the prior approval of the Council is not therefore required."

They added: "No plans, such as floor plans or layout plans have been submitted as part of the application, but in any case, matters such as natural lighting, means of fire escape and crowding are matters for other departments and legislation, such as the Building Regulations and Housing Acts."