Enforcement action after multiple unauthorised signs installed on former Great Horton Library

Enforcement action has begun after multiple unauthorised signs were installed on a listed Bradford building.

The former Great Horton Library on Cross Lane has been “smothered” in the banners in recent years – according to a Conservation Officer.

Now a listed building enforcement notice has been issued against the property, and if the banners are not removed the building owners could end up in court.

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In Spring 2021 a number of additions were made to the Grade II listed building, at the busy junction of Great Horton Road and Cross Lane without planning permission. The changes included the installation of CCTV cameras, lighting and the large banners – which advertise a company called Uneek Homes.

Former Great Horton Library 2024Former Great Horton Library 2024
Former Great Horton Library 2024

One of the unauthorised banners that is partially covering the grand building’s features says “Investing in property and people.”

A retrospective planning application to keep the features was made to Bradford Council by Soifur Siddiqui in 2022, arguing that installing the unauthorised banners was “mandatory” to protect the building’s windows.

The application said: “We have had banners installed at each window to protect the building’s exterior to prevent vandalism occurring as we have public pathway to the front and right side of the building.

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“Our proposal ensures that this existing redundant building which was in bad condition is brought back into use with absolute minimum changes. So the installation of external lights, security cameras and banners was mandatory to protect the building.”

The retrospective application was refused by Bradford Council last year.

Conservation Officer Jon Ackroyd had questioned why more traditional methods of protecting the windows were not considered instead of large advertising banners.

He said: “Both main elevations of the building have been smothered with banners, covering all of the ground floor windows.

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“It is suggested that the banners have been installed to prevent window breakages, although no direct evidence is provided to justify this statement.

“It outwardly appears that the banners are advertisements for a suite of businesses. They obstruct all of the ground floor windows and significantly detract from the architectural cohesion and visual amenity of the building.

“There is no evidence that they are required for security, and they cause appreciable visual harm.”

Despite the retrospective application being refused over a year ago, the banners remain in place.

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In late March Bradford Council issued a listed building enforcement notice.

It says: “Without listed building consent, 14 banner type advertisements were installed on the North East and North West facing elevations.”

The notice requires the owners to “remove the banner type advertising and all means of fixing.”

When the Local Democracy Reporting Service visited the building on Thursday the banners were still in place.

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