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Bradford Council to meet Government agency over Odeon plans
Bradford Council bosses are expected to meet the Government agency which owns the city’s Odeon building to agree the way forward after a long-standing deal to redevelop the site was cancelled.
It emerged on Thursday that the Homes and Communities Agency, which inherited the building a year ago this week, had terminated a legal agreement with developer Langtree.
The company had wanted to demolish the 1930s building and build a £40 million New Victoria Place development of offices, a hotel and apartments.
The HCA took action after Langtree called for more time to market its scheme to potential occupants, and had delayed the signing of a vital Section 106 agreement, which would have triggered an eight month period in the development agreement.
This failed to comply with the terms of the agreement, said the HCA, so it took the decision to terminate it.
Now the HCA has confirmed that it will look to discuss the future of the Odeon building with Council bosses, before agreeing a way forward. It has already been reiterated that it wants to work with the Council and the local community to find solution.
A spokesman for the HCA confirmed: “We need to have a discussion with the Council as to the best way forward for the building, and about the possibility of transferring the building to the Council. We want to ensure that any outcome meets the aspirations of the people of Bradford.”
It was also confirmed that although no firm plans had been submitted to the HCA by interested groups in the wake of Thursday’s dramatic announcement, there had been requests to see inside the building.
Mark Nicholson, of Bradford Odeon Rescue Group, which is in its tenth year of campaigning to save the building, told the Telegraph & Argus that it will hold a meeting next week and it had many things to discuss.
He said: “Over the years as a group we have had people come to us who wanted to do something with the building. A few months ago we had a meeting with a local developer who was interested in the Odeon and has business plans and costings to restore it and turn it into a concert hall and conference centre.
“We hope to be speaking to him again soon and we will look to take his plans directly to the Council and the HCA.”
Council leader, Councillor David Green , had previously told the Telegraph & Argus that he was “pleased” this “particular chapter” on the Odeon had ended, giving a chance to rethink the future of the building.
He added: "We will be speaking to the Homes and Communities Agency about all the issues relating to the Odeon, including future ownership. What I hope it will agree to is that we can now go out to all those groups and individuals who have indicated that they have viable and sustainable alternative plans for the building to ask them to bring forward their business cases so they can be reviewed and we can assess whether any can be progressed.”