A HISTORIC Bingley building marred by “serious safety concerns” could be razed to make way for a new housing development.

Plans have been lodged by Intu Developments Limited to demolish the Priestthorpe Annexe, part of the former Bingley Science Art and Technical School, on Mornington Road.

Once used as a training college, the 19th Century building has been largely empty since 2002, suffering from neglect to the point where the building was judged to have “nil” value by a property consultant. For years Bingley residents and local politicians have called for something to be done about the crumbling building.

Back in June, Bradford Council agreed to sell the building and further plans for its future have now been revealed.

The application for demolition, submitted by Intu Developments Limited, says: “Planning permission is required for demolition because the site is located within the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Conservation Area. The building is not listed.

“Following a prolonged period of vacancy and dereliction the applicant purchased the property from Bradford Council in October 2018 and is currently working with their design team to advance plans for a new residential development, which they aim to submit for planning permission by the end of November 2018.”

It goes on to say that due to “serious safety concerns” it is necessary to immediately submit an application for demolition of the building. However, it says the former gymnasium block, to the rear of the building, is proposed for retention at this time.

A heritage statement submitted with the application describes the building as been in a “very poor and dangerous” condition.

It says: “Given its proximity to busy residential streets and a school there are very serious concerns about the potential consequences of further collapses or falling debris.

“The applicant has sought to minimise these risks by scaffolding the building, as directed by building control. However, this is not sufficient to ensure public safety over the coming winter, with the condition of the building deteriorating.”

Demolition is proposed as a “matter of urgency”.

“The demolition of the Priestthorpe Annexe will harm the character and appearance of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Conservation Area but the harm to the conservation area as a whole will be limited,” says the application.

“Furthermore, it will result in the total loss of a “key unlisted” building that may be regarded as an undesignated heritage asset in its own right.

“This harm and loss is regrettable and could not be prevented by the applicant, who is in no way responsible for the current dilapidated condition of the building.”

It goes on to say that the removal of a “structurally unsound” building, the future provision of “high quality” housing and the generation of funds to be reinvested for the education benefit of the town are among the public benefits of the proposal.