The delayed demolition of the former Bradford & Bingley headquarters in Bingley – now owned by Sainsbury’s – could now take place this summer.
The town’s Tory MP Philip Davies has made the prediction after holding one-to-one talks with the supermarket giant’s boss Justin King.
And Mr Davies has vowed to keep the retail giant’s “feet to the fire” and get some swift action.
Mr Davies held a meeting with chief executive Mr King during which he told him that delays in tackling the site – once valued at £6 million – were harming the retailer’s relationship with the town.
Sainsbury’s initially bought the building with a view to replacing it with a superstore but has since dropped the plan. “I explained to Mr King how unhappy everyone in Bingley is and how badly it has hurt his company’s reputation,” said Mr Davies.
“He told me he was aware of the issue and had received a number of letters from people in the town saying just that.
“He pledged to me that Sainsbury’s has not been dragging its feet and that it has no reason to do so.
“Money for the site has already been written off and he said the sooner they could flatten it and sell it on, the better.”
The most recent cause of delay was protected pipistrelle bats living and mating in the 1970s-built block which occupies a prime site in Main Street.
“The issue of the bats was beyond Sainsbury’s control and Mr King promised me he would go away and take a close interest in the matter,” Mr Davies said.
“Mr King has announced he is leaving Sainsbury’s in July and wants to get the matter resolved by then.
“All I can do is keep a close eye on any progress and keep putting their feet to the fire.”
Bingley Chamber of Trade president Howard Martin welcomed any signs of progress by Sainsbury’s on the building which has long been considered a blight on the town. “I wish the Sainsbury’s CEO all the best in achieving something in such a relatively short space of time,” Mr Martin said.
“The time frame does seem a little optimistic, but as this comes from the top it is exceedingly good news for Bingley.
“Let’s hope they don’t suddenly find great crested newts on the site!”