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Councillor and residents plead for estate refurb
Campaigners have demanded that boarded-up homes on a Bradford estate should be brought back to life instead of houses being built on green-field sites.
Councillor Malcolm Skyes says the empty properties in Allerton need to be knocked down or improved to prevent developers covering the green belt – such as the nearby Pitty Beck site – with new estates.
When the Telegraph & Argus visited the area we found dozens of empty properties in Bracewell Avenue and ‘The Walks’. Some rows were harder hit than others, with 16 of the 24 flats in Barkston Walk and seven of the 12 flats in Beecroft Walk boarded up.
A further seven of 24 flats in Coxwold Walk, four of 12 in Bentcliff Walk and seven of 20 in Lindholme Gardens all had metal shutters in place.
Ten flats, meanwhile, were bordered up in Bracewell Avenue itself.
One resident who has lived on the estate for 30 years, Kath Hardaker, 71, spoke of her heartbreak at the sight of dozens of aluminium-shuttered flats and houses in the area.
Social housing landlord Incommunities, which owns housing stock in the area, said it was currently carrying out an “options appraisal” of properties on ‘The Walks’ and Bracewell Avenue.
Coun Sykes (Con, Thornton and Allerton) has been battling ongoing plans for 292 homes on the Pitty Beck green-field site off nearby Allerton Lane which gained approval from Bradford Council’s regulatory and appeals committee in controversial circumstances last week. Coun Sykes, who has vowed the campaign to stop the Pitty Beck developmemnt is not over, said of the empty homes: “I hope they will be able to do something fast, whether it’s knock them down and start again, or refurbish them to give them some new life.
“The area has become a big eyesore. Every other house is boarded up.
“I think it’s a shame when we’re fighting hard to prevent developments on green-belt land. These are the sorts of sites that need to be used first.”
Last month the Telegraph & Argus reported how Bradford has been hailed a top performer in a national scheme to bring empty council homes back into use after figures revealed that nearly 2,000 abandoned properties across the district have been brought back to life Mrs Hardaker said similar action was needed on her estate.
“It’s a scandal and it’s so sad to see all those boarded-up places,” she said.
“I know many of them have had problem families and are probably wrecked inside, but restoring them has surely got to be a cheaper and better idea than building new estates on open spaces.
“It would just be so good for the area if something could be done to bring them back to life.”
A spokesman for Incommunities said: “We will be carrying out a consultation with existing tenants living in the area to help ensure we fully meet their housing needs.”