Pontefract residents want action over anti-social behavior in abandoned Horsefair office block

An abandoned office block on Horsefair, Pontefract, which has been empty for more than a decade, has become a target for vandals.

By Julie Marshall
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 11:29 am
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 11:31 am

The four-storey Enterprise House, which was once occupied by the Department for Work and Pensions, has had most of its windows smashed, the interior has been trashed and piles of rubbish have been dumped in the car park by fly tippers.

Alan Tonks is the landlord of the Golden Ball pub which joins onto the office block.

He said: “We’ve been here for eight years and have regularly reported the problems to the council and to the police.

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Gary Martin and Alan Tonks are fed up of the vandalism occurring in the derelict building on Horsefair, Pontefract

“Environmental health has been called out to deal with the rat problem in the car park.

“What I’m most afraid of it the building going up in flames.

“One Sunday afternoon someone started a fire in the car park and, if I hadn’t been around to put it out, it could easily have spread to the pub.

Mr Tonks is also concerned about people throwing bricks through the windows.

He said: “Some of the windows have been boarded up but the majority haven’t and they still have glass in them.

“Only last week youths were throwing bricks at the windows and one landed on a car below, smashing the windscreen.

“It’s a good job there was no one walking past.”

The car in question belongs to Gary Martin who lives in a flat above the pub.

He said: “Over the years, I’ve been in touch with the police and the council and nothing is being done.

“The vandalism has been going on for a long time. It looks like something out of a war zone.”

Glynn Humphries, corporate director for communities, environment and climate change at Wakefield Council, said the council was aware of aware of residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour and are addressing them.

He added: “In regards to this particular site, the council has served a notice on the landowner which requires the area to be cleared of waste and the building to be properly secured.

“The owners have not complied with our notice and the council is now taking legal action to ensure they comply. The council will also consider use of other powers to carry out the works.”