COUNCIL chiefs have confirmed additional security measures will be introduced at Dalton Mills - after suspected arsonists struck the site again.

Two fires at the derelict mill on June 9 and June 10 are both being treated as arson by police.

The latest blazes further damaged the Grade II*-listed building, which was hit by a huge fire in 2022, resulting in two teenagers being charged with arson earlier this year. The two 17-year-olds, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are next due to appear in court in August.

Residents living near the 19th Century complex have now sent a letter to Bradford Council and Keighley Town Council saying they have "had enough" - and urged the authorities to take action to "secure the whole mill complex".

Bradford Council told the Telegraph & Argus it has been working with Historic England to "agree the installation of some additional site security measures and these works will be carried out as soon as possible".

As previously reported, enquiries made by the T&A since the new fires have uncovered that Dalton Mills - which was used as a set for the filming of Peaky Blinders - is subject to an "unusual" and "arcane" legal process known as 'escheat', which means it has been given up to the Crown Estate and is effectively ownerless.

According to the Crown Estate, when an asset is subject to escheat, the Crown Estate is "not able to take any action which might be construed as an act of management, possession or ownership in relation to the property" - such as carrying out repairs - as it may incur liabilities.

The Crown Estate cannot consent to works being carried out by a third party on escheat property. However, it will not interfere with any works being carried out by an "appropriate body", such as Bradford Council, as local authorities have lawful powers to make dangerous buildings and structures safe.

Concerns have been raised about Dalton MillsConcerns have been raised about Dalton Mills (Image: Newsquest)

The residents' letter states families and older people living near Dalton Mills have "had enough of the lack of security and action on making the area safe", and are worried about "constant thefts from the building" as well as vandalism and recent "significant fires".

The letter adds: "We urge Keighley Town Council, along with Bradford Council, to take immediate action to: A) secure the whole mill complex so no further thefts and acts of arson can take place; B) make a determined effort to ensure that this amazing piece of Keighley's industrial heritage is not left to fall into a state where it can no longer be restored and re-visioned as a tremendous asset to the town and the community.

"Action is needed now. This may be the last chance to save a building with huge cultural and industrial historic status."

A Bradford Council spokesperson told the T&A: "We share the views of local residents that the building has huge cultural and industrial significance to Keighley and can assure them that we've been liaising very closing with Historic England to try secure a positive future for the site.

"We have to stress that the building is not owned by Bradford Council and is currently held by the Crown Estate, who are aware of the current situation at Dalton Mills.

"While the Council does not have a duty to keep the site secure, it is recognised that the current threat level of further theft, vandalism and risk to the public's health and safety is significant. The Council has been working in partnership with Historic England to agree the installation of some additional site security measures and these works will be carried out as soon as possible.

"We will continue to work with all parties to try preserve such an important heritage asset to Keighley and the whole district."

A Keighley Town Council spokesperson added: "Keighley Town Council acknowledges residents' concerns about the security and safety of the Dalton Mills complex.

"Recognising Dalton Mills as an important part of Keighley's historical landscape, we support joint efforts to safeguard the town's cultural and industrial heritage.

"The Town Council does not own or have a duty to maintain the site's security or address dangerous structures."