Campaigners opposed to greenfield developments have blasted Bradford Council for its lack of up-to-date information on how much land is lying derelict across the district.
It has emerged that the last full survey of vacant land was done more than ten years ago, prompting strong calls for the local authority to assess potential brownfield development sites before allowing green sites to be destroyed.
As part of a Government-funded programme, surveys were carried out every four years until 1999, when the last survey revealed the total area of dereliction in the district amounted to 0.7sq miles, made up of 145 separate sites.
Elizabeth Hellmich, of Heaton Township Association, said: “Bradford Council need to get someone to work out how much derelict land they have got.
“They need to map it. I think they’d get quite a shock if they realised how much derelict land there was.
“Before they start building on the greenfield sites they need to build on these run-down areas.”
The report, put before a meeting of the Council’s regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee, said the Council looked at derelict sites on a case-by-case basis.
It stated that land had fallen into disrepair for a variety of reasons, including owners not being able to afford to maintain buildings, and in some cases buildings had been part-demolished to avoid paying business rates.
Terry Brown, chairman of Greenhill Action Group, which is fighting proposals to build 475 homes off Sty Lane, Micklethwaite, near Bingley, said: “Before we drive asunder all our green fields to build houses we should be checking on things like derelict land.”
For more on this story see Today’s T&A