BRADFORD Council has voted to take urgent steps to attempt to save a crumbling 16th Century building.

At a meeting of the Council’s decision making Executive yesterday, members voted to push ahead with measures to help restore the Old Manor House in Manningham.

This could include forcing the owner to sell the decrepit building through a Compulsory Purchase Order.

It would be the first major project to make use of a budget set aside by the Council to tackle “blight sites” in the District.

The Grade II listed property on Rosebery Road, thought to be the oldest building in Manningham, has been empty since 2000.

One Councillor told the meeting that seeing the state of the building almost “reduces him to tears.”

At the meeting Julian Jackson told members the building was on the at risk register and a “long standing” concern for residents.

However the Old Manor House’s owner, whose name was not disclosed during the public portion of the meeting, had not responded to requests to repair the building.

He said a Compulsory Purchase Order - which effectively forces the owner to sell the building to the Council, would be a last resort should negotiations to buy the building break down.

Residents and heritage groups have called for urgent action to be taken to preserve the building for several years.

Plan to turn Conservation Area building into restaurant approved

A report to the Executive said that the building, which is Grade II listed and stands within the St Pauls Conservation Area, is currently little more than a shell, with a badly damaged roof and no windows.

Scaffolding currently covers part of the building - a temporary measure by the Council to prevent it from further deteriorating until it can take ownership of the site.

It adds: “Some of the historic timbers are affected by rot and are collapsing as a result. Internally, the building has been stripped to a shell and has suffered through poor and abortive alteration works, leaving the building partly filled with debris, lacking any floors or wall finishes, displaying accelerating structural issues and is devoid of any services or facilities.

“The building is uninhabitable and visually is detrimental to the surrounding and established residential area.

“The building has attracted recurring issues of fly tipping and anti-social behaviour, which is also detrimental to the locality.

At the meeting, which was held online, Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “The building is a key bit of Manningham heritage.

“In our budget we set aside money to deal with blight sites and this is the first key project to come out of that. Retaining our heritage is a priority for us as a Council. This is an example of a very old local building that the Council can now look to restore and repurpose.”

Councillor John Pennington, leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council, said: “I have looked at this building for years and it almost reduces me to tears to see what it looks like now.

“The building needs saving. It needs to be done and it needs to be done quickly.”

Members of the Executive voted to allow a Compulsory Purchase Order go ahead if needed.

Details of the potential cost of the scheme was in a section of the report that was restricted to the press and public.

The Manor House has its origins as a timber framed T-plan house of the 16th century.

In the 17th century it was re-modelled and clad in coursed stone, whilst in the 19th century the building was truncated by a road widening scheme, leaving a smaller dwelling.