The news that Bradford Council does not know how much derelict land there is across the district is something of a surprise, given the demand for sites for housing in the area.

At a time when communities are fighting to save greenfield land which is being earmarked for development, it must be frustrating for them to learn there are potentially dozens of disused buildings crying out to be utilised positively.

Last time anybody checked, there was a total of 145 sites considered derelict in the district – a total of 0.7sq miles of land.

That includes disused mills and former industrial buildings which would be ideal for housing development.

Given the pressure for land the Council is facing, it is time for its officers to be a lot more pro-active in working with people to develop these sites.

The first step would be to carry out a comprehensive survey to identify where the sites are and what potential uses they could have.

And it is important these locations are not simply designated as housing – the area needs proper family housing.

What it doesn’t need is more mills being converted into bachelor pads or craft centres, both of which we already have in abundance.

There can be little excuse for Council planners to be giving the go-ahead for developments on greenfield sites, which communities are rightly fighting to protect when there may be so many potential locations that are currently eyesores and, in some cases, possibly a danger to the public.

This is something they have to do quickly – and they have to do it properly.