Angry residents blocked contractors’ vehicles in a protest over what a councillor claimed was the “worst breach of planning consent” he had seen.

Demolition workers have moved on to a site between Alton Grove, Norwood Avenue and Wharncliffe Road, Shipley, ripping up trees, demolishing a garage containing asbestos and burning construction rubbish throughout last week, residents said.

The contractors, employed by London-based Hanson, have also been using an alleyway next to residential streets for demolition traffic.

But, in a show of people power, residents have created a blockade against vehicles getting on to the site.

Bradford Council’s planning enforcement officers were yesterday investigating whether strict conditions, agreed when planning permission was given to build on the site, had been broken.

Campaigner Alan Dix, of Norwood Avenue, said: “The demolition company just turned up with a JCB and started tearing the place up without prior notice.

“And as far as we know, without any of the conditions being met as part of the planning agreement.

“Everyone is angry because it happened so quickly. There was a huge fire belching out toxic smoke, which has been burning all week.”

In 2008, the Council granted planning permission for ten flats to be built on the land.

That permission included conditions that the developer protect trees during demolition works, creates a purpose-built access road into the site before the work started, and carried out a full survey into the condition and type of asbestos there, among other conditions.

There was also a condition that no materials should be burned on site.

The residents repeatedly contacted the Council’s planning enforcement team last week but an official only visited the site after residents had blocked vehicles from entering. They were joined in their protests by Shipley Green Party Councillors Martin Love and Kevin Warnes.

Mr Dix said: “My concern is that it took a lot of concerted action to get to this point. All we wanted was for someone to take control of what was an out-of-control situation.”

Fellow campaigner Simon Allan, of Alton Grove, said the contractors had “laid waste” the site, causing deep resentment among residents.

However, he added: “It is a victory for us because the developer and the Council are now trying to build bridges with the residents and work with us.”

Coun Warnes said: “I hope that the protest has the desired effect on the recklessly irresponsible management of this project.

“I have to say that it is possibly the worst breach of a planning consent that I have seen in almost seven years on the Council.

“Now that the planning enforcement team is involved, and the community has been so vocal and active, I hope that there will not be any further problems.”

Developer Hanson has now agreed to work with Bradford Council’s enforcement team and residents about the best way to progress with the work. No-one at the company was available for comment yesterday.