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Residents demand action over ‘eyesore’ pub site at Heaton
7:00am Monday 17th February 2014 in Bradford
Angry villagers are demanding action over the state of a disused pub in Bradford.
They want an end to uncertainty about the fate of the Fountain Inn at Heaton.
At the very least, Heaton Township Association is calling for a full-scale clean-up of the site.
However, the owner insists he is trying to maintain the site, but that his efforts are constantly foiled by vandals.
The old pub has been a source of concern for some time. In 2012, residents voiced fears about the historic inn falling into ruin.
Bradford Council was asked to take action, but at the time a spokesman said the authority would ‘review the situation if the building deteriorates’.
Association chairman Sonja McNally said: “A number of residents have complained about the state of the site. It is an absolute disgrace and getting worse.
“We want this sorting out. There are serious concerns within the community.”
In 2009, Mahboob Alam was granted permission to change the use of the pub into a dwelling on condition work began within three years, but that deadline passed and it was understood Mr Alam sold the property.
In 2012, it was reported that the building’s owners could not afford to convert it at that time.
Mrs McNally said: “Ideally, we would like to see the site used for social housing as there is a need for that in this area. At the very least, let’s have a clean-up. It is sadly neglected and a real eyesore. The uncertainty is making matters worse.”
She said water had been knee-deep in the cellar, rubbish was being dumped and there were reports of drug-taking at the site. The building is owned by Hayaan Developments of Shann Street, Bradford. Its director, Bilal Mulla, said he was doing his best to keep the site clear.
“I have spent thousands of pounds securing the property, but vandals keep getting in,” he said. “There is fly-tipping and other problems.
“I am trying to get the money together to develop the site as housing and have spoken to a few developers about this. I still intend to put homes on that site.”
He urged residents to report any sightings of tipping, vandalism or any other crime to police or the Council and said he would be happy to talk to anyone with concerns about the site.
In October 2009, planning permission was granted for four houses on the site and a change of use for the former pub to become a home. Neither application included permission to demolish the building.
Built in 1856, the Fountain was once the home of Bradford City Supporters Club. At one point, it actually had a fountain in it.
Historically, it was popular with the farming community because of its closeness to Wharfedale Farmers Auction Mart.