Shock as Heritage advisors say 'Keep Odeon's towers'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Odeon towers and facade The Odeon towers and facade

English Heritage is urging planners to refuse permission for the full demolition of Bradford’s former Odeon cinema and the redevelopment of the site.

But it argues that only the front facade and twin towers are worth keeping and a single building should be constructed behind it rather than the three planned by the developers. The public body’s comments in response to Bradford Council’s consultation process for the proposed Odeon replacement have been attacked as inconsistent because yesterday it was announced that its sixth decision not to grant the building listed status had been backed by the Government.

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth, the Council’s executive member for environment and culture, said: “On the one hand, they are saying it should not be listed but they are also saying that what is going to replace it is not suitable.

“That’s a perfectly valid point for them to make. The people in charge of the scheme have to make a decision to see whether they go forward with that particular design.”

In its response to Bradford planners, English Heritage, which acts as the Government’s statutory adviser on the historic environment, said the existing twin-towered building was an “evocative landmark” and made a “positive contribution” to Bradford city centre’s distinctive character.

It says the £55 million New Victoria Place proposals would damage the conservation area and the setting of the Alhambra theatre by the removal of a complementary building.

Its letter states the planned development would be a “dominating” building, much taller and with no stylistic similarities to the Grade II listed Alhambra.

And it says national and local guidance supported the retention of the existing building’s turrets and front facade.

Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage’s team leader for West Yorkshire, was asked if English Heritage’s view that part of the building should be retained was inconsistent with its earlier view that it was not worthy of listed building status.

Mr Mitchell said: “It has been our view that, although it’s a good building, it does not reach the national standards of special architectural or historical interest to warrant it being listed.

“However, that doesn’t mean it’s a worthless building with no value at all.

“It has local value as a landmark on the skyline and a community value in that many thousands of people used it when it was open.”

English Heritage said it recognised that some aspects of the New Victoria Place proposal could bring “modest benefits”, with new offices, a hotel, homes and educational space set to stimulate the city’s economy.

It said the creation of a wider pavement and new surfacing around the Alhambra could improve the setting of the theatre, while the proposed use of sandstone as the main cladding to the new development would harmonise with the conservation area.

No-one at regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward, which owns the Odeon site, or Langtree Artisan, the development partner, were available for comment last night.

Comments (31)

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8:39am Sat 22 Nov 08

Lenny_the_legend says...

And there was me thinking that there might be some progress on this issue before 2010 !! Wrong again !!
Another round of meetings, followed by more meetings, more architects plans, more discussion groups and forums, then more planning applications and finally another refusal !!
I might be 50 by the time I see something new in its place - only 21 years to go !! Good old Bradford council - you can depend on them to delay things to get more money out of us !!!
And there was me thinking that there might be some progress on this issue before 2010 !! Wrong again !! Another round of meetings, followed by more meetings, more architects plans, more discussion groups and forums, then more planning applications and finally another refusal !! I might be 50 by the time I see something new in its place - only 21 years to go !! Good old Bradford council - you can depend on them to delay things to get more money out of us !!! Lenny_the_legend
  • Score: 0

8:49am Sat 22 Nov 08

keeponclucking says...

Talk about indecisive. How much money is being spent on these numerous reports & surveys. A compromise of aiming to keep the towers & build something else to blend in with it would seem to be a reasonable compromise but for goodness sake let's get on with it before it falls down of its own accord. I wish they had put as much thought into saving the Alexandra Hotel around the corner. If the rest of Bradford's so called redevelopment is going to take as long to discuss we will be here til doomsday. Talking of which after a flurry of activity about 6 months ago I've not seen much construction since in our City Centre (just the occasional artists impression of what it 'might'look like 50 years from now). I suspect Westfield have delayed investment again due to the recession & the Council are too embarrassed to tell us!
Talk about indecisive. How much money is being spent on these numerous reports & surveys. A compromise of aiming to keep the towers & build something else to blend in with it would seem to be a reasonable compromise but for goodness sake let's get on with it before it falls down of its own accord. I wish they had put as much thought into saving the Alexandra Hotel around the corner. If the rest of Bradford's so called redevelopment is going to take as long to discuss we will be here til doomsday. Talking of which after a flurry of activity about 6 months ago I've not seen much construction since in our City Centre (just the occasional artists impression of what it 'might'look like 50 years from now). I suspect Westfield have delayed investment again due to the recession & the Council are too embarrassed to tell us! keeponclucking
  • Score: 0

9:33am Sat 22 Nov 08

albion says...

How about building just the front of the Westfield development, with a Leeds bus and train terminus behind it? We could end up with a virtual city.
How about building just the front of the Westfield development, with a Leeds bus and train terminus behind it? We could end up with a virtual city. albion
  • Score: 0

10:40am Sat 22 Nov 08

The Odeon Crusader says...

I'm shocked! For once, good on the T&A for giving this maximum publicity - I didn't think they would last night!!!

So the regen chiefs and Langtree Artisan were not available for comment on this? What a surprise.

Somebody did actually hear David Custance (Yorkshire Forward) and Glyn Turner (Langtree Artisan) discussing this latest twist in the Odeon saga over a babysham in the Birdcage Bar last night. It was something like "Oh sheet"?!!!
I'm shocked! For once, good on the T&A for giving this maximum publicity - I didn't think they would last night!!! So the regen chiefs and Langtree Artisan were not available for comment on this? What a surprise. Somebody did actually hear David Custance (Yorkshire Forward) and Glyn Turner (Langtree Artisan) discussing this latest twist in the Odeon saga over a babysham in the Birdcage Bar last night. It was something like "Oh sheet"?!!! The Odeon Crusader
  • Score: 0

10:48am Sat 22 Nov 08

Jammy says...

Strange Yorkshire forward , and Langtree artisan have nothing to say ,perhaps its because the full report is now common knowledge ,not just the small portion released earlier ,although this headline was mentioned on the comments page by someone in reply to the first issued statement ,Glad to see we are getting to be informed of English Heritage,s full statement,and not just the bits which back the aforementioned agencies case
Strange Yorkshire forward , and Langtree artisan have nothing to say ,perhaps its because the full report is now common knowledge ,not just the small portion released earlier ,although this headline was mentioned on the comments page by someone in reply to the first issued statement ,Glad to see we are getting to be informed of English Heritage,s full statement,and not just the bits which back the aforementioned agencies case Jammy
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Sat 22 Nov 08

Dr Evil says...

keeponclucking wrote:
Talk about indecisive. How much money is being spent on these numerous reports & surveys. A compromise of aiming to keep the towers & build something else to blend in with it would seem to be a reasonable compromise but for goodness sake let's get on with it before it falls down of its own accord. I wish they had put as much thought into saving the Alexandra Hotel around the corner. If the rest of Bradford's so called redevelopment is going to take as long to discuss we will be here til doomsday. Talking of which after a flurry of activity about 6 months ago I've not seen much construction since in our City Centre (just the occasional artists impression of what it 'might'look like 50 years from now). I suspect Westfield have delayed investment again due to the recession & the Council are too embarrassed to tell us!
Have you been away?
[quote][p][bold]keeponclucking[/bold] wrote: Talk about indecisive. How much money is being spent on these numerous reports & surveys. A compromise of aiming to keep the towers & build something else to blend in with it would seem to be a reasonable compromise but for goodness sake let's get on with it before it falls down of its own accord. I wish they had put as much thought into saving the Alexandra Hotel around the corner. If the rest of Bradford's so called redevelopment is going to take as long to discuss we will be here til doomsday. Talking of which after a flurry of activity about 6 months ago I've not seen much construction since in our City Centre (just the occasional artists impression of what it 'might'look like 50 years from now). I suspect Westfield have delayed investment again due to the recession & the Council are too embarrassed to tell us! [/p][/quote]Have you been away? Dr Evil
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Sat 22 Nov 08

Joedavid says...

For goodness sake Yorkshire Forward sell it John Pennington and the BORG team.
For goodness sake Yorkshire Forward sell it John Pennington and the BORG team. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Sat 22 Nov 08

bratfudlad says...

Well it looks almost certain that a possible solution maybe found if they hold another series of meetings where another possible solution will almoct certainly be a probable possibility subject to confirmation,or am I being too optomistic ?
Well it looks almost certain that a possible solution maybe found if they hold another series of meetings where another possible solution will almoct certainly be a probable possibility subject to confirmation,or am I being too optomistic ? bratfudlad
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Sat 22 Nov 08

djmoulson says...

GREAT NEWS!!! ....and ironic that BORG have just the plans in place for the site using the exisitng towers...maybe...jus
t maybe we might finally get a building the complements the Alhambra, has a definitive use and links the University area with the city centre!!
GREAT NEWS!!! ....and ironic that BORG have just the plans in place for the site using the exisitng towers...maybe...jus t maybe we might finally get a building the complements the Alhambra, has a definitive use and links the University area with the city centre!! djmoulson
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Sat 22 Nov 08

JewelD says...

I completely agree with everything English Heritage have said - the towers and front of the Odeon building should be preserved. The proposed Langtree Artisan development just isn't good enough. As well as being ugly and characterless it would be out of keeping with the surrounding buildings and totally overshadow the Alhambra and ruin the Alhambra's setting. I would much rather this matter was delayed again and rethought than see yet another disasterous planning mistake made in Bradford.
I completely agree with everything English Heritage have said - the towers and front of the Odeon building should be preserved. The proposed Langtree Artisan development just isn't good enough. As well as being ugly and characterless it would be out of keeping with the surrounding buildings and totally overshadow the Alhambra and ruin the Alhambra's setting. I would much rather this matter was delayed again and rethought than see yet another disasterous planning mistake made in Bradford. JewelD
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Sat 22 Nov 08

mrs walker says...

Ok, so put a cafe/bar at each side under the towers, accessed from the street. Build a big extended hall in the middle suitable for gigs, trade shows, markets & exhibitions.

Upstairs there would be enough space for offices, conference facilities, and a shrine to the small god of U-turns...
Ok, so put a cafe/bar at each side under the towers, accessed from the street. Build a big extended hall in the middle suitable for gigs, trade shows, markets & exhibitions. Upstairs there would be enough space for offices, conference facilities, and a shrine to the small god of U-turns... mrs walker
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Sat 22 Nov 08

mrs walker says...

Thanks btw Wil Kilner & the T&A for reporting this story.
Thanks btw Wil Kilner & the T&A for reporting this story. mrs walker
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Sat 22 Nov 08

JazHar says...

I just hope the planning commitee will take some notice of this.
Even if the interior of the Odeon can't be saved, the front facade and towers should definitely be preserved.
I don't know anyone that likes the Langtree artisan New Victoria Place design - it resembles some of the other concrete eyesores that already blight the city centre - its unbelievable that having spent the last 10 or 15 years talking about pulling this type of building down they can consider building another one on a prime site.
I just hope the planning commitee will take some notice of this. Even if the interior of the Odeon can't be saved, the front facade and towers should definitely be preserved. I don't know anyone that likes the Langtree artisan New Victoria Place design - it resembles some of the other concrete eyesores that already blight the city centre - its unbelievable that having spent the last 10 or 15 years talking about pulling this type of building down they can consider building another one on a prime site. JazHar
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Sat 22 Nov 08

jkelly says...

Hard to tell if that last comment was actually tongue in cheek. Hopefully the Yorkshire Post will have more to say on Monday.
Hard to tell if that last comment was actually tongue in cheek. Hopefully the Yorkshire Post will have more to say on Monday. jkelly
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Sat 22 Nov 08

finemess says...

This is good news for those who support the retention of the odeon building, which I do. People power has saved this building so I would urge Bradford council to sell this building to John Pennington and co and lets move forward with restoring the building without delay.
Lets face it Bradford Council's track record of developing the city center is pretty poor which reminds me of something else er Broadway!!! lol
Need I say more!!
This is good news for those who support the retention of the odeon building, which I do. People power has saved this building so I would urge Bradford council to sell this building to John Pennington and co and lets move forward with restoring the building without delay. Lets face it Bradford Council's track record of developing the city center is pretty poor which reminds me of something else er Broadway!!! lol Need I say more!! finemess
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Sat 22 Nov 08

eightieswiffy says...

Is the New Victoria Place picture some sort of joke? Looks like someone has uprooted the old job centre building and plonked it on the Odeon site.

Thank goodness that someone with an ounce of intelligence and foresight has stepped in...it's not difficult is it.... keep the towers which in my opinion 'are' the Odeon, and fill the facade with glass. Many people on here have made great suggestions on restoring - wish we got paid the same as these so called experts.
Is the New Victoria Place picture some sort of joke? Looks like someone has uprooted the old job centre building and plonked it on the Odeon site. Thank goodness that someone with an ounce of intelligence and foresight has stepped in...it's not difficult is it.... keep the towers which in my opinion 'are' the Odeon, and fill the facade with glass. Many people on here have made great suggestions on restoring - wish we got paid the same as these so called experts. eightieswiffy
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Sat 22 Nov 08

The Odeon Crusader says...

The letter from Trevor Mitchell from English Heritage to Jacobs Well is available to read - IN FULL - on BORG's website.

Go to: www.bradfordodeonres
cuegroup.co.uk

and look in "News And Events"
The letter from Trevor Mitchell from English Heritage to Jacobs Well is available to read - IN FULL - on BORG's website. Go to: www.bradfordodeonres cuegroup.co.uk and look in "News And Events" The Odeon Crusader
  • Score: 0

9:05pm Sat 22 Nov 08

daz. says...

Hi.

Well, this is a step in the right direction, yes finally someone has realised that this building is an important one to Bradford & the people who live here.

Daz.
Hi. Well, this is a step in the right direction, yes finally someone has realised that this building is an important one to Bradford & the people who live here. Daz. daz.
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Sat 22 Nov 08

MP says...

Heres a suggesstion for the T and A - send an email on Monday to every Bradford Councillor asking them to comment on the atrocious mess we are in over the Odeon and then print exactly how many responded. Then send the results to the Chief Executive of Bradford Council, Tony Reeves, for £170,000 a year of our Council Tax money maybe he will be able to show some leadership for once.......
Heres a suggesstion for the T and A - send an email on Monday to every Bradford Councillor asking them to comment on the atrocious mess we are in over the Odeon and then print exactly how many responded. Then send the results to the Chief Executive of Bradford Council, Tony Reeves, for £170,000 a year of our Council Tax money maybe he will be able to show some leadership for once....... MP
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Sat 22 Nov 08

Dr Evil says...

MP wrote:
Heres a suggesstion for the T and A - send an email on Monday to every Bradford Councillor asking them to comment on the atrocious mess we are in over the Odeon and then print exactly how many responded. Then send the results to the Chief Executive of Bradford Council, Tony Reeves, for £170,000 a year of our Council Tax money maybe he will be able to show some leadership for once.......
I can't be the only one who doesn't get this comment.
[quote][p][bold]MP[/bold] wrote: Heres a suggesstion for the T and A - send an email on Monday to every Bradford Councillor asking them to comment on the atrocious mess we are in over the Odeon and then print exactly how many responded. Then send the results to the Chief Executive of Bradford Council, Tony Reeves, for £170,000 a year of our Council Tax money maybe he will be able to show some leadership for once....... [/p][/quote]I can't be the only one who doesn't get this comment. Dr Evil
  • Score: 0

1:42am Sun 23 Nov 08

van says...

quite an interesting story, with self interest at the heart of it,where bradford...yet again, gets it wrong.
over many years there has been a relentless development destruction of 19th century, early 20th century and 18th century building marvels in bradford, the council still wants to demolish more. pure self interest and sad for the city, what could this city have been like - ghent?york? dont laugh,it could have beed
quite an interesting story, with self interest at the heart of it,where bradford...yet again, gets it wrong. over many years there has been a relentless development destruction of 19th century, early 20th century and 18th century building marvels in bradford, the council still wants to demolish more. pure self interest and sad for the city, what could this city have been like - ghent?york? dont laugh,it could have beed van
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Sun 23 Nov 08

MP says...

Sorry Dr Evil, let me be more explicit. Our Council Tax directly pays the wages of both senior council staff and the councillors themselves (last year it cost over £1m for the councillors wages - they each get paid a lump sum of between £10k and 40k a year). What I'd like to see is either the Councillors or the Chief Executive actually take a lead role in the Odeon issue, admit they got it wrong and say what they are going to do to put it right.....not too much to ask is it ?
Sorry Dr Evil, let me be more explicit. Our Council Tax directly pays the wages of both senior council staff and the councillors themselves (last year it cost over £1m for the councillors wages - they each get paid a lump sum of between £10k and 40k a year). What I'd like to see is either the Councillors or the Chief Executive actually take a lead role in the Odeon issue, admit they got it wrong and say what they are going to do to put it right.....not too much to ask is it ? MP
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Sun 23 Nov 08

Dr Evil says...

Unfortunately, it is too much to ask of Bradford Councillors. They will somehow take the credit for the towers' rescue. 'Accountability' is not in their vocabulary.
Unfortunately, it is too much to ask of Bradford Councillors. They will somehow take the credit for the towers' rescue. 'Accountability' is not in their vocabulary. Dr Evil
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Sun 23 Nov 08

ava4 says...

So, am I the only one now expecting one of the towers to fall victim to some kind of freak accident?
So, am I the only one now expecting one of the towers to fall victim to some kind of freak accident? ava4
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Sun 23 Nov 08

mrs walker says...

ava4 wrote:
So, am I the only one now expecting one of the towers to fall victim to some kind of freak accident?
A 'freak accident'?? I think you'll find it's more likely to be 'a mysterious fire'... :-(

[quote][p][bold]ava4[/bold] wrote: So, am I the only one now expecting one of the towers to fall victim to some kind of freak accident?[/p][/quote]A 'freak accident'?? I think you'll find it's more likely to be 'a mysterious fire'... :-( mrs walker
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Sun 23 Nov 08

bantam4life says...

just knock the thing down, who actually care about keeping it. Makes the city look a right dump. Would look nicer as rubble
just knock the thing down, who actually care about keeping it. Makes the city look a right dump. Would look nicer as rubble bantam4life
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Sun 23 Nov 08

LISTING APPLICANT says...

Time to put the record straight. Yes, the Dept of Culture Media and Sport did not list the building at appeal but they have listened and they have been influenced by the group value argument, hence what we see unfold now. There are many ways to crack a nut. What nobody should be in any doubt about is that there is a process in place to protect our heritage and Bradford Council, BCR and Yorkshire Forward had decided, whether through incompetence (in which case they should all resign) or intention (in which case they should all resign)to deviate from that. English Heritage could not approve this scheme as it goes against all that has been learned the hard way in the past. The Bradford Odeon is no longer a case of local importance, it is of national concern and the world is watching. There really is nowhere left to hide to avoid the issue of wanton waste of public money and knowing compromise to our heritage (remember the canopies being cut away without permissions). If in any doubt ring English Heritage 0870 333 1181 for a copy of 'Regeneration and the Historic Environment' Product Code 51029. Given that Bradford has two schemes in here that are applauded, what changed re the Odeon?
Time to put the record straight. Yes, the Dept of Culture Media and Sport did not list the building at appeal but they have listened and they have been influenced by the group value argument, hence what we see unfold now. There are many ways to crack a nut. What nobody should be in any doubt about is that there is a process in place to protect our heritage and Bradford Council, BCR and Yorkshire Forward had decided, whether through incompetence (in which case they should all resign) or intention (in which case they should all resign)to deviate from that. English Heritage could not approve this scheme as it goes against all that has been learned the hard way in the past. The Bradford Odeon is no longer a case of local importance, it is of national concern and the world is watching. There really is nowhere left to hide to avoid the issue of wanton waste of public money and knowing compromise to our heritage (remember the canopies being cut away without permissions). If in any doubt ring English Heritage 0870 333 1181 for a copy of 'Regeneration and the Historic Environment' Product Code 51029. Given that Bradford has two schemes in here that are applauded, what changed re the Odeon? LISTING APPLICANT
  • Score: 0

10:42pm Sun 23 Nov 08

Dr Evil says...

One thing is for sure; now that the towers have seemingly been saved these are going to be a lot of people in Bradford with time on their hands!
One thing is for sure; now that the towers have seemingly been saved these are going to be a lot of people in Bradford with time on their hands! Dr Evil
  • Score: 0

12:34am Mon 24 Nov 08

mrs walker says...

Thing is, Doc, they aren't saved yet. The planners can choose to discount even advice from English Heritage - although they'd probably be foolish to, especially now that EH's objection is common knowledge... Also, Yorkshire Forward may refuse to sell the building and allow it to deteriorate to the point where it cannot be restored. Ideally I'd like them to GIVE it back to Bradford along with some cash to make our missing concert and exhibition hall a reality...
(lol @security word: 'long-wait'!!)


Oh, and Bantam4Life "just knock the thing down, who actually care about keeping it."

Enough people turned out on a chilly morning a few months ago to link arms around the whole plot. It was a bit of a squeeze getting a space and it was a heart-warming and uplifting event. So yes, many many people care....
Thing is, Doc, they aren't saved yet. The planners can choose to discount even advice from English Heritage - although they'd probably be foolish to, especially now that EH's objection is common knowledge... Also, Yorkshire Forward may refuse to sell the building and allow it to deteriorate to the point where it cannot be restored. Ideally I'd like them to GIVE it back to Bradford along with some cash to make our missing concert and exhibition hall a reality... (lol @security word: 'long-wait'!!) Oh, and Bantam4Life "just knock the thing down, who actually care about keeping it." Enough people turned out on a chilly morning a few months ago to link arms around the whole plot. It was a bit of a squeeze getting a space and it was a heart-warming and uplifting event. So yes, many many people care.... mrs walker
  • Score: 0

8:13am Mon 24 Nov 08

Jammy says...

On friday at 0520 am the T&A reported the Odeon wasnt to be listed and would be demolished to make way for Yorkshire forwards plan ,obviously no-one bothered to read the full report ,as i assume the story was based on a press release from Yorkshire forward, therefore will the T&A now ask Yorkshire forward to explain WHY using the columns of the T&A ,Yorkshire forward tried to pull the wool over the people of BRADFORD yet again?
On friday at 0520 am the T&A reported the Odeon wasnt to be listed and would be demolished to make way for Yorkshire forwards plan ,obviously no-one bothered to read the full report ,as i assume the story was based on a press release from Yorkshire forward, therefore will the T&A now ask Yorkshire forward to explain WHY using the columns of the T&A ,Yorkshire forward tried to pull the wool over the people of BRADFORD yet again? Jammy
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Mon 24 Nov 08

LISTING APPLICANT says...

Can probably answer that one for you, YF were too hasty to leap up and down with glee...the advice from EH was a separate document entirely from the one which turned down listing again but was released within days of it. The EH advice came in the form of official consultation feedback on the planning application. You should know that some official consultees have NOT been consulted and letters are not uploaded that have been received in objection.That aside, what truly beggars belief is that YF, BCR and Bradford Council have been forging ahead bullishly and arrogantly thinking they could achieve this monstrosity. Their salaries must be questioned, where are Bradford Council's Conservation Officers...do they have any or are they all bound and gagged somewhere in Jacob's Well?
Can probably answer that one for you, YF were too hasty to leap up and down with glee...the advice from EH was a separate document entirely from the one which turned down listing again but was released within days of it. The EH advice came in the form of official consultation feedback on the planning application. You should know that some official consultees have NOT been consulted and letters are not uploaded that have been received in objection.That aside, what truly beggars belief is that YF, BCR and Bradford Council have been forging ahead bullishly and arrogantly thinking they could achieve this monstrosity. Their salaries must be questioned, where are Bradford Council's Conservation Officers...do they have any or are they all bound and gagged somewhere in Jacob's Well? LISTING APPLICANT
  • Score: 0
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