A DISUSED care centre which has become a magnet for vandals and thieves is to be demolished.

Residents living close to the former Holme Wood Resource Centre have been demanding action over the rundown building, which they say is plagued by anti-social behaviour.

Now Bradford Council – which owns the site, in the Fell Lane area of Keighley – has confirmed that after unsuccessful efforts to find an alternative use for the premises, they are to be bulldozed.

People near the site say that following the removal of security late last year, problems escalated.

A metal fence and boarded-up windows failed to prevent criminals and young children getting into the building.

"Thefts and other illegal activities could be witnessed daily," says one resident, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

"I have seen criminals walk away from the building in broad daylight with items such as electric wiring, pipes, sinks, parts of kitchens and bathrooms, and radiators.

"Children aged no more than 11 or 12 have been using it as a place to hang out. They’re entering the vacant building and taking fire extinguishers and detonating them – children have also climbed onto the roof on several occasions. I am concerned this is a very serious safeguarding issue.

"Myself and other residents have phoned 999 on many occasions, but the culprits escape before the police arrive.

"Something needs to be done about this, but nobody wants to take responsibility or ownership for what is happening."

Bradford Council says security has been reinstated at the site in a bid to prevent further problems, and that demolition is planned within the next couple of months.

A spokesperson said: "The council has been exploring alternative uses for this building, but unfortunately these have turned out to be unviable.

"Security has been reinstated to prevent any further anti-social behaviour and the building will be demolished within eight weeks."

Holme Wood Resource Centre offered a range of respite and day care provision, including home visits from an outreach team and long-term residency.

It was announced in November, 2013, that Holme Wood was among social day-care centres earmarked for closure over the following three years as part of council efforts to slash £14.7 million from the adults and community services budget.

Concerns were voiced at the time over plans to instead buy-in reduced levels of provision from the independent and voluntary sectors.