Councillors say demolishing former pub is 'a matter…

Councillors say demolishing former pub is 'a matter of urgency'

COUNCILLORS have called for the “urgent” demolition of a former pub after fire ripped through the building for the second time in two years.

Councillor Imran Khan (Lab, Bowling and Barkerend) has demanded the owner of the site “gets on with it” given its history of anti-social behaviour.

Firefighters were called to the old Bradford Arms pub on Bowling Back Lane on Sunday morning to find it smokelogged in one room.

The building has been derelict for nearly three years after arsonists damaged it in January 2017, forcing the landlord and his family to flee for their lives.

Councillor Hassan Khan (Lab, Bowling and Barkerend) said he understood Bradford Council had already granted permission to demolish the site with an application first entered back in 2017.

And, in one strong message to the owners, he says “demolish or put it to good use”.

Mr Khan told the Telegraph & Argus: “There’s a concern.

“It’s a matter of urgency.

“It’s not safe.

“Residents are concerned.

“I have not met the owner.

“I’ll be happy to have a sit-down with him if he needs any support.

“For the safety of the area I think we need to take action as soon as possible.

“Demolish it or bring it back to use.

“I’m fed up of this thing.”

Another councillor said it’s a similar story across the district with many derelict pubs acting as a hotspot for anti-social behaviour,

Councillor Rizwana Jamil (Lab, Bowling and Barkerend) said: “I wouldn’t say it’s unusual.

“To demolish a building it’s going to cost something.

“There’s always been concerns raised by residents.

“Buildings like this do attract people to use them for anti-social behaviour and a place for them to carry out things which they don’t normally do.

“Anybody who lives round there doesn’t want that on their door step.”

At the time of the first fire, the owner of the site revealed his hopes to knock the site down after it was targeted by fly-tippers and, days later, arsonists.

Some asbestos was found at the back of the building and arrangements were being made to get it removed safely.

In August 2017, businessman Saleem Siddique explained: “I will be putting in an application to demolish the pub.

“It’s had its day.

“People have been tipping waste, mattresses to fridge freezers.

“It has been a mess but we’ve acted on the Council’s request to get it tidied and we’ll fence it off. It looks better for the community now.

“I don’t think people will mind the pub being demolished. The walls have gone, it’s in a bad way.”

No-one has yet been charged over the attack and West Yorkshire Police said its investigation had been “filed” pending new information coming to light.

A Bradford Council spokesperson told the Telegraph & Argus: “It is the owners responsibility to outline their plans for this building.

“If they wish to demolish it, they need planning permission and must notify our planning control department.”