Arsonists torch villa

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A CALL has been made for a derelict Wyke building to be demolished after it was targeted by arsonists.

The manor house, which is in woodland in Shirley Manor, was set on fire in the early hours of Monday.

Fire crews were called to the site at 12.10am to put out the blaze.

A planning application for more than 100 homes to be built on the site was granted earlier this year.

Now Coun David Robinson (Lab, Wyke) has called for the disused villa-style building to be demolished in a bid to deter vandals and make way for the new development.

He said: “It attracts arsonists, drug addicts and vagabonds.

“It is land owned by Bradford Council and it’s up for sale.

“It is a blight on the area. We desperately need housing because there is a vast shortage.

“We have a good neighbourhood policing team who are working very hard.

“It’s a shame that this is a target, and will remain a target until something is done.

“I am hoping it will be demolished because it’s a big area which is heavily wooded.

“There was some objection to the planning application but we have a nice area and the police are doing a marvellous job.”

Fire crews from Odsal were called to Shirley Manor.

A spokesman from the station said: “It is a fantastic building that would be really nice so it is a shame it is in such a state.

“We had a spate about two or three months ago where our shift was called out there about two or three times. The other watches go out there often as well.

“The building is boarded up by the council but people just break in.

“It’s in an isolated area.”

Bradford Council’s plans to develop the 11 acre site were criticised earlier this year because developing the land would mean felling more than 450 trees.

Some of the trees are mature and are under tree protection orders.

But permission was granted after changes were made to the layout of the proposed development which sits at the junction of Whitehall Road and Huddersfield Road in Wyke village.