A COUNCILLOR has made a last ditch plea to his colleagues to block plans to demolish one of Shipley’s oldest buildings.

Earlier this year Bradford Council announced that it had bought the Branch Pub on Bradford Road and planned to demolish the building as part of a traffic improvement scheme.

An application for demolition of the empty pub was submitted, and a final decision will be made by the Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel tomorrow morning.

A report to the panel says almost 90 people have objected to the application.

The demolition would form part of a £42 million road improvement project involving Bradford Road and Canal Road, to be funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The pub is thought to date back to at least 1850.

Councillor Kevin Warnes (Green, Shipley) has written an open letter to members of the panel, urging them to refuse the plans, at least until more details of the planned traffic improvement scheme are revealed..

It says: “The Council already owns the site and the building. The Council therefore has the opportunity to properly assessed all the options for an improved junction and their impacts before seeking premature consent to destroy one of the oldest buildings in our community.

"There is no need to rush into this matter and I hope that you will press the pause button before it is too late by rejecting this specific application outright.

"I urge you all, please, to resist promises of ‘jam tomorrow’ from the highways team and focus on where we are right now. We have a 170 year old landmark building in the midst of our community that is a heritage asset which might be saved and regenerated in some form.”

The panel meets in Keighley Town Hall at 10am tomorrow.