Appeal to clean up ‘eyesore’ in Keighley

Keighley News: Councillor Abid Hussain (above) standing by the  fire-damaged  building in Lawkholme Lane, Keighley, which has been left to become an eyesore for neighbouring  homeowners Councillor Abid Hussain (above) standing by the fire-damaged building in Lawkholme Lane, Keighley, which has been left to become an eyesore for neighbouring homeowners

A Keighley neighbourhood remains blighted by the shattered remnants of a burned-down building nearly four months after it was first torched.

People living close to the wrecked property, at the junction of Lawkholme Lane and Grange Street, are calling for action to resolve the situation.

Justin Taylor, 41, of Wren Street, said: “I’d like it to be pulled down, because it’s an eyesore.

“If this was anywhere else they would have knocked it down by now.”

The gutted property, which had housed a clothing storage area and a snooker hall, was first hit by a major blaze in the early hours of New Year’s Eve 2013.

What was left of the building was destroyed by a second fire less than a week later. A fire service spokesman said both incidents were being treated as suspected arson.

Today, the building is still in ruins, with the roof and some of the outer walls lying in piles of rubble.

Keighley Central ward councillor Abid Hussain said: “Residents are very concerned about this – it does look terrible and it’s a matter of public safety as well.

“I think it would need to be knocked down completely, but I know the council is working very hard to sort this out.”

Mr Taylor, who was evacuated from his home twice when the fires broke out, added: “Putting fencing round it doesn’t really stop people from getting inside.”

A 34-year-old mother-of-five, who also lives close to the destroyed property, said: “It’s like living next to a scrapyard.”

The woman, who did not want to be named, added having to evacuate her home twice with her young children during the fires had been a traumatic experience. She said they were reminded of it every time they see the ruins.

Julian Jackson, Bradford Council’s assistant director of planning, transportation and highways, said: “The ongoing security of the site is the responsibility of the owners. However, we recently carried out a site inspection and reminded the owners of their responsibilities.”

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