THE PUBLIC body that champions and protects England's historic places says it was not consulted on Bradford Council's decision to remove part of a listed building.

A fortnight ago, the Telegraph & Argus reported that the roof of the chapel in Bowling Cemetery had been removed as it was deemed to be a risk to the public.

The news provoked a strong response from readers, with one saying that removing the roof was 'the death knell' for the Grade II listed building and a 'shameful action.'

Now, Historic England has waded into the debate, stating that it was not consulted on the recent works and encouraging the Council to make sure the rest of the building is stable.

A spokesperson for Historic England said “We are saddened to hear about the poor state of the Bowling Cemetery Chapel.

"We were not consulted on the recent removal of its roof, which we understand was undertaken for safety reasons. Such emergency works are allowable, providing they are the minimum works needed to remove the risk.

"We would encourage the council to ensure the remainder of the building is stable and to consider the next steps for bring the building back into good repair.”

The chapel, disused since 1987, has fallen into a state of dereliction and has been a magnet for anti-social behaviour over the years. 

Efforts to find a new use for the structure, which was given Grade II listed status in 1988, have so far come to nothing.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: This picture from above shows that the roof has been completely removed This picture from above shows that the roof has been completely removed (Image: Adam Percy: T&A Camera Club)

After pictures emerged showing that more of the heritage asset had disappeared, the Telegraph & Argus asked Bradford Council to outline what work had taken place at the site.

At that stage, Bradford Council spokesperson said: “The roof of Bowling Chapel was deemed to be a risk to cemetery users, so the remaining slates and timbers have now been removed."

Asked what the plan was for the building going forward, the Council spokesperson said: "The future of the building is still being considered.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A flashback to 2021, when the roof was still in place A flashback to 2021, when the roof was still in place

T&A readers have been quick to give their views on the state of the building.

In the online comments section, Boz said: "Removing the roof is the death knell for this building and a shameful action by the council."

Another reader, with the username Bambie, said: "Why are buildings listed then left to rot? It doesn't make sense, they're too many of them. Money should be spent restoring them. This building is now a shell what's the point of it?"