A COLLAPSED wall on a major Bradford route has created an “insurer’s nightmare” as the Council works with local residents to get the road open again.

The wall collapse took place on Baildon Road, Baildon, outside the home of George Gait and next door to the Subud Hall at around midnight on Tuesday.

Howard Halay, chairman of Subud Bradford, said: “Everybody’s shaken up and we’re all concerned about it.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ralph Nimmann and Howard Halay, of Subud Bradford, stand next to the collapsed wall on Baildon Road.Ralph Nimmann and Howard Halay, of Subud Bradford, stand next to the collapsed wall on Baildon Road. (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Halay explained that heavy rain from Storm Debi “created a river that had gone into the wall and brought the whole thing down”.

George Gait, owner of the house where the wall collapsed, described the shocking incident which happened around midnight on Tuesday.

He said: “I was about to go to bed when, all of sudden, I heard this rumbling noise and then a great big bang.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A van 'teeters on the edge' of a collapsed wall on Baildon Road.A van 'teeters on the edge' of a collapsed wall on Baildon Road. (Image: UGC)

He looked outside and saw the wall had collapsed and his son’s Baildon Gas Services van, which was parked next to wall, about to go over the edge.

Mr Halay said: “The van was teetering on the edge and had to be pulled to safety.”

Mr Gait said: “It felt like it was going to go over the edge. A recovery truck had to lift it up and use a winch to pull it back towards the house.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The collapsed wall on Baildon Road, pictured from above.The collapsed wall on Baildon Road, pictured from above. (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Halay said of the whole situation: “We’re in an insurer’s nightmare.”

A bulge in the wall, which had been there for years, worsened in recent months, prompting Mr Gait to raise the issue with councillors.

He said: “The bulge was smallish in the beginning, but it expanded in recent months.

“I raised the issue with councillors earlier this year because it looked like it might collapse.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The collapsed wall on Baildon Road.The collapsed wall on Baildon Road. (Image: Newsquest)

“They reported back and were told nothing was wrong.

“I’ve done everything I could possibly do.”

Mr Halay and Ralph Nimmann, secretary of Subud Bradford, have been working with Mr Gait to clear large wall stones which spilled out onto Baildon Road.

Mr Nimmann said: “The Council can’t keep the road like this. They need to get traffic going again.”

Baildon ward councillors also expressed concerns about the road remaining closed.

Cllr Allison Coates said: “As you can imagine we have been inundated with complaints from concerned residents and have been urging Bradford Council to deal with this as a matter of urgency.

“We understand the wall is privately owned and there are insurance implications but we want the Council to use its enforcement powers to clear the route and make it safe.”

Cllr Debbie Davies said: “I reported this wall on March 1 following concerns raised by a local resident and provided photographs showing the bulging wall.

“I followed this up several times, each time emphasising the urgency of the situation.

“I finally got a reply in August promising a structural report but stating the wall had been inspected and was 'stable and not showing any signs of movement nor is it a danger at the moment'.

“Following more bad weather I followed this up again and finally last week was told a full report would be undertaken; sadly this was too late with the events of this week.”

She said: “The current closure is causing massive inconvenience to many residents and businesses.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Our officers are working closely with the local residents who own the wall to clear up the wall debris from the highway.

“There is a risk that the remaining sections of the wall could still be unstable and as such we need to be very careful further damage is not caused.

“We are also mindful it is vital that we do not place any further financial burdens on local residents and inadvertently invalidate their insurance in any actions we take.

“That said we have agreed a way forward with the local residents and we will be taking action to expedite the safe reopening of the highway before the weekend.

“This will involve the Council assisting with the removal of the debris and temporarily shoring up the wall to help avoid any further collapse.

“The pedestrian footpath will need to remain closed as it would be unsafe for people to walk immediately adjacent to the wall, but we are doing all we can to enable a two-way movement of traffic while keeping the scene as safe as possible for road users.

“We will continue to carefully monitor the wall over the coming days.”