A PART of Bradford which was once regarded as a ‘legal hub’ for the city has become blighted by rubbish and rats.

Around a decade ago Eldon Place, situated next to Manningham Lane Retail Park, was home to seven or eight solicitor firms each in healthy competition with one another to be the best.

However, now only a few remain, and the area has become a magnet for litter and vermin.

From food waste to empty cardboard boxes, the overflowing Bradford Council-owned bins have become a hotspot for rats who feed upon the bags and spilled rubbish left in the open, according to nearby businesses.

One solicitor’s firm on the street is angered so much by what Eldon Place has turned into that he is seriously considering relocating as he feels like it is only going to get worse down the line.

Ashfaq Chowdhury, of Highgate Solicitors, said: “You see seven or eight rats daily. It is just horrible.

“There is a massive rat problem in that area, not just caused by this rubbish.

“Ten years ago, this was the legal hub, there were seven or eight solicitors on here, now just look how Bradford has fallen.

“There are a lot of issues. Before you know it, this is going to be another slum town.”

Raj Kumar, a solicitor from neighbouring RKN Solicitors, also agreed with Mr Chowdhury in highlighting the issues.

A third business owner on Eldon Place added: “We have to dodge rats to get into the office.

“The whole area is infested. It’s embarrassing having clients come to the office.

“There is rubbish thrown in our car parks and there are drug addicts hanging around the front and back of Eldon place.

“There are also alcoholics sitting on the walls near the trees on the side of the retail park.”

Back in July, when the Telegraph & Argus was first made aware of the problem, we contacted Bradford Council who told us that they had visited the patch to dispose of the litter.

A spokesperson from the council back then said: “The problem of accumulated rubbish in Eldon Place was reported to Bradford Council. It has now been cleared up.”

Mr Chowdhury still had his concerns though that this was not enough and long-term intervention had to happen to totally kick the issue into touch.

He said: “Give it another three/four days and it will be exactly the same.

“It only gets sorted when someone kicks up a stink, otherwise it would just be left.

“The dustbin wagon comes, and it doesn’t even clean that bin.

“I notified the council, they said they would come and do an inspection.”

Unfortunately, he was proven right as more recent pictures show the rubbish returning.

Mr Chowdhury was even able to capture an image of a dead rat which seems to have been flattened.

Yesterday, the Telegraph & Argus went down to Eldon Place to see the mess had remained.

Bradford Council and the three City Ward councillors Aneela Ahmed, Nazam Azam and Shakeela Lal were keen to encourage the public to not contaminate their recycling bins.

A spokesperson from the council added: “We have been made aware of this issue and will deal with it in line with our enforcement policy.

“We also ask that people do not contaminate recycling bins with other waste. Households that repeatedly contaminate their recycling bins will face enforcement action.”

It comes after a reader of the Telegraph & Argus generated quite the response with his letter titled ‘Manningham Lane is an embarrassing dump’ last month.

Having begun his working life in Eldon Place, Steve Wilson revisited the area to be left depressed and asked the question on whether anything is being done to improve the location.

This enraged many fellow readers into having their say. Of the 43 comments, a large majority agreed with the author’s thinking that regeneration had to occur.

Mr Wilson said: “The fine old buildings are still there but the drive out of the centre was depressing.

“Is this really what we are happy for visitors to the city to see as a main gateway?

“Can it have escaped the attention of councillors and officers alike that this route is an embarrassing dump?