Langlees group has bright ideas for orphan land site

Members of BULB at the 'orphan land' site in Langlees
Members of BULB at the 'orphan land' site in Langlees

Residents in Langlees are coming up with bright ideas to help regenerate an ‘orphan land’ site that has lain empty for over a decade.

Community activists have founded the Brightening Up Langlees and Bainsford (BULB) group to spruce up a patch of barren land, which used to house shops, next to the existing convenience store in Seaforth Road.

The large area has been an eyesore for residents for around 12 years after it was sold for a housing development that has yet to get off the ground.

It is owned by an Irish dairy farmer who has given his permission for locals to use the land for a community project for five years at least.

The council say they receive numerous complaints about the site due to fly-tipping, dog fouling and antisocial behaviour issues so the group launched a consultation with householders this week to ask what they’d like to see put in the space and comment on their proposals so far.

BULB member Angie Smith said: “The site has been a bone of contention for local people for many years and we decided it was time to do something about it.

“The people in the group have shown great community spirit to come together for this project and we are confident we can put the land to good use for the benefit of the community.”

The group is proposing to make the area safe, put in a road safety circuit for children to use and generally spruce it up, but they are open to other ideas for its use.

Shopkeeper Ajaz Ali, whose property adjoins the site, is supporting the project as is the council which is offering support and funds to groups who want to regenerate similar orphan land projects.

Communities can take ownership of unmainatained land to develop. They can be privately or council-owned and improvements don’t have to be permanent.

Community litter officer Hania Smith said: “There won’t be anything permanent on the site but it will be a hard landscape that is going to be much nicer and safer and we can help groups access money for these types of projects.

“Complaints have been high for that area so it’s great to see this group taking responsibility for the project. We’re hoping to get schoolchildren involved in painting a new mural as well so it’s a community-led initiative from start to finish.”