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Housing ‘model’ returns home 50 years on

A retired Council architect has made a special donation to a Bingley retirement scheme as it prepares for a new phase of modernisation work.

When Malcolm Bayliss was getting ready to move house he came across a large model of the proposed development that he had worked on back to the 1970s which would become Maple Court.

After dusting down the scale model he got in touch with the local retirement housing officer, Janet Warren, and a few days later the wooden model titled ‘Ash Terrace Aged Persons Flatlets’ was taking pride of place in the scheme’s communal lounge for everyone to see.

The development was designed by Malcolm and his architects’ team who were based in the now demolished Jacob’s Well building. It formed part of a major Council housing programme started in the mid 1970s.

The Bingley scheme comprised 58 flats with communal facilities and was set within attractive grounds.

A key design feature involved positioning the main entrance off Ash Terrace, a side road coming off the busy main Bradford Road running through the town. The flats were also laid out to reduce traffic noise for residents.

The development was completed in 1981 and named Maple Court to complement the ‘tree’ names of other local roads.

The construction would transform the site of an old Council tip site and deliver a new generation of retirement homes. The original design also included an adjacent scout hut and today the site still houses a scout training centre.

In the coming weeks Incommunities is starting work on refurbishing the communal lounge at Maple Court and fitting a new kitchen. Work is also continuing to turn studio flats into spacious one bedroom apartments complete with modern kitchen and bathrooms.

Malcolm said: “I’m delighted that Incommunities has been able display the model at its home. It was created by the Council’s model maker at the time and is very accurate to the final development and formed an integral part of the planning process.

“Five decades later it’s lovely to see how true to the final design the model is and see Maple Court continues to offer popular retirement accommodation.”

Beverley Mullaney, Incommunities Support Services Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to Malcolm for donating the model. It’s proved a real talking point among residents, visitors and staff.

“It is a testament to Malcolm and his team’s hard work and design that Maple Court has prospered and continues to be enjoyed by our residents today.

“It’s nice to look back at the design vision of the 70s as we look forward to exciting changes to the scheme which includes making it a new community hub that the wider neighbourhood can enjoy.”