How do you solve the problem of Armley’s unsafe buildings?


Stronger government legislation is needed to give councils the power to secure dangerous buildings, an Armley councillor has said.

Cllr Alice Smart (Lab, Armley) says she is growing increasingly concerned over the safety of a number of buildings in the area – but fears the lack of strong government legislation is hampering the council’s efforts.

Earlier this year,14-year-old Myles Johnstone was killed at an empty warehouse off Wyther Lane, Bramley, and another boy was injured at the disused Pennine Castings factory off Modder Lane.

Other sites include:

  • The old medical centre on Theaker Lane, where the windows have been broken
  • The Western bingo hall, where two fires have taken place
  • The former joke shop at 100 Town Street, which has been boarded up.

Cllr Smart says often the reason why it takes so long for action to be taken on these sites is often down to the owner’s lack of engagement with council officers and has called on greater powers to be available to the council to take action. She said:

“Ultimately we want all of the derelict and unsafe sites to be brought back into use in a way that benefits the local community.

“But in the meantime it’s imperative that every derelict building in Armley is made as safe and secure as possible to protect local residents and avoid accidents.

“The Armley councillors will keep the pressure on council officers until action is taken on all of these sites but ultimately government legislation needs to change in order to give local councils the power to secure derelict buildings without having to wait for the owners to engage.”

The Dispatch has contacted the Home Office for comment.






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