A ROW of derelict shops on a busy Bradford junction will be demolished in the spring after years of lying empty.

The properties, on the junction of Thornton Lane and Cemetery Road at Four Lane Ends, are owned by Bradford Council, and were originally bought several years ago to allow improvements to be made to the junction. However, funding for the roadworks never became available, and the shops have been empty for several years, attracting anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

The authority has now applied for permission to demolish four buildings at the corner of the junction.

A notice at the site says the council has applied for "the demolition and proposed restoration of the site."

If approved, the demolition works will begin in April and work is expected to finish in July. The application says that much of the demolition will be done by hand to create minimal disruption to surrounding businesses and homes.

The councillor in charge of planning at the council said the roadworks were unlikely to happen any time soon, but the demolition was needed because the buildings were becoming a problem for residents.

The shops, which have empty flats above them, include a former carpet shop, fishmonger and optician.

Cllr Val Slater, executive for planning, said: "The buildings were purchased by the council some time ago with the view that highways work would happen on the site, but the work never took place. The buildings remained empty and became very run down over the years. There has been some anti-social behaviour around them, and residents were asking us to do something about it. The best answer seems to be to get them demolished.

"There are no plans so far beyond the demolition, but that is not to say the road works will never happen."

Cllr Nazam Azam (Lab, City) represents the ward the buildings lie in, and says that the row of derelict properties reflect badly on the surrounding area. He said: "I do think knocking them down is a step in the right direction. They have been derelict for a long time, and caused many problems. A lot of residents have asked what we are going to do about them." He said that the complaints had come from other wards from people who drive past the shops on a daily basis. He added: "It is good that this is happening, because in their current form these buildings are an eyesore. I hope there will be some highways work there, but we have to take this one step at a time."