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Demolition of part of old Keighley College planned
Parts of the former Keighley College on North Street will be demolished to make the building more attractive to buyers.
Bradford Council revealed it wants to demolish the boiler house, meter room and the canopy over the entrance as part of the latest push to market the building after years of no success.
Because the building lies in a conservation area, the authority has to apply for consent for any works.
The buildings were vacated when the college moved near to Keighley railway station in 2010 and the Council then purchased the site. Although the Cavendish Street building had been proposed as possible Council offices, the future of the larger North Street building has been up in the air ever since the closure, with ideas ranging from a hotel to the building being demolished and turned into a park.
Once the “unnecessary” parts of the building are demolished, the Council will re-market the site.
Coun Val Slater, executive member for housing, planning and transport, said: “The North Street building of the former Keighley College is owned by the Council and will be going back on the market in the near future in order to promote this prominent site for re-use.
“The current application is to allow some minor work to be carried out to remove unnecessary features of the building that could become problematic in any future use of the site. It is proposed to remove the canopy over the entrance and the former boiler house and meter room as modern boilers do not need external housing.”
But one councillor is sceptical that such “tinkering” would make the building saleable.
Coun Andrew Mallinson, who sits on the Council’s Keighley Area Committee and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee, said: “I welcome forward thinking and know the Council wants to re-market the building, but I think it’s just a waste of time and money. Tinkering around the edges by demolishing parts of the building would just add to the confusion over its future and will be detrimental to the town.
“Knocking it down and clearing the site is the only way to make the site attractive again. Any potential buyer would be looking at the site, and not the building. It is not suitable for apartments or modern office space.”
With the world’s media descending on Keighley when the Tour de France passes through, he feels it is more important than ever the town did not appear run down.