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Call for action to clean-up Nab Wood garage site eyesore
11:00am Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
A derelict petrol station in the Aire Valley is an eyesore which has now blighted local life for a decade, say residents and councillors.
The unkempt former Shell Garage site just along from The Mercure Bankfield Hotel and at the top of Branksome Drive, Nab Wood, was bought for residential development during the height of the property boom.
But after gaining permission to change its use from a garage and applying to build flats on the site, it has been left undeveloped ever since.
Sales executive Melanie Howarth has lived in Branksome Drive for 12 years and said residents were fed-up of seeing the scruffy, weed-covered building and forecourt.
“This derelict site is smack bang in the middle of Saltaire and the Bingley bypass and while the Council are spending hundreds of thousands on the roundabout improvements, this stays looking like a disgrace.” said Mrs Howarth, 51.
“I think it is a scandal that the Council cannot – or will not – force the owners to sort it out.
“About six months ago a man did come along and tidy up the vegetation and they rebuilt about three-quarters of the front wall, but then that just stopped before it was properly finished.
“Residents are just sick of seeing it unused when it could be such a good development.”
Ward councillor Hawarun Hussain contacted Bradford’s regeneration and culture department to ask planners for an explanation.
“People have seen this derelict site year after year and myself and other Green councillors have been pushing for the owner to be made to do something,” said Coun Hussain.
“Apparently something was done earlier this year, but not finished off.
“This site is pertinent to us, because it is a good example of a city site which could be used instead of residential development on green spaces. We will continue to press for this to be sorted out.”
A Bradford Council planning spokesman said: “This is a ‘derelict site’ and as such it will never look as attractive as a developed site. Officers contacted the owner and he agreed to improve the overall look of the site.
“We have never served any notice on the owners. The vegetation was cleared within weeks of our first contact. Work then started on the boundary wall, but was halted as the builder had an accident. A few weeks later the wall was rebuilt.
“I appreciate that the residents may not like the appearance of the wall, but the local planning authority has no control over this as the wall does not require planning consent. The site has been secured, but the old (white) fencing still remains an issue. The owner has been contacted and reminded that this work still needs completing. I am hoping that the red and white tape is a temporary measure until a permanent solution can be found.
“In conclusion, I do feel that the owner has tried to improve the appearance of the land, but as stated earlier it is a ‘derelict site’ and there is only so much that can be done.”
The site owners were unavailable for comment.
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