A derelict canalside garden centre could easily be transformed from a “blot” to a valuable community asset, say local residents.
Householders in Hirst Mill Crescent are concerned that the former Saltaire Garden Centre is becoming a dangerous blight on the area as its dilapidated glass house and buildings continue to deteriorate.
And together with Shipley district councillor Kevin Warnes, they are mounting a new campaign to tidy up the site and return it to good use.
“Ideally I would like to see the site changed into something useful like allotments,” said Pauline Bradley-Sharp, secretary of the Hirst Wood Regeneration Group.
“It’s got huge potential, but at the moment it’s all broken glass, wrecked buildings and it’s a blot on the World Heritage area site,” Mrs Bradley-Sharp said.
“It’s a bit better now as some local people have taken matters into their own hands and gone in and shifted stuff. But it’s got such potential.”
Adjoining residents including Alan Hall, chairman of Bradford Civic Society agreed there was an urgent need for action.
“This is a major recreational area and the start of the canal path into Saltaire and yet this has been left derelict for at least two years,” said Mark Edwards who has lived in the Crescent for 18 years.
Coun Warnes said Bradford Council could possibly spearhead a scheme which would be acceptable to the site’s Bradford-based owners, Hartley Property Group.
“I don’t see why the Council couldn’t make Hartley’s an offer and then hand over the site to a local community group or perhaps to Shipley College, which is planning to build on its adjoining allotments,” Said Coun Warnes (Green).
“Being derelict like this just leaves it open to vandalism, when it’s got such potential to be something possible.”
“I shall try to get some conversations going with the owners,” he added.
A spokesman for Hartley said: “We have had a couple of inquiries recently, but then people have ideas but fail to follow them through.
“We are open to any suggestions regarding taking on the lease and would be happy to work with the Council on any ideas.”