A new structural survey has “proved the case” for the demolition of the derelict Odeon cinema, say developers who want to regenerate the city centre site.
The independent survey, carried out by Leeds-based engineering firm Ramboll Whitbybird, shows the 77-year-old building has major structural defects and contains a “substantial amount” of asbestos.
Developers Langtree Artisan will use the report to support its planning application to Bradford Council on October 17, arguing that the building should be demolished to make way for the New Victoria Place scheme.
David Rolinson, deputy chairman of Spawforths, the planning consultants to Langtree Artisan, said surveyors had found asbestos sheeting on roofs and walls, asbestos rope around electrical equipment and asbestos spray in large areas, and structural defects, including corrosion of steelwork in the towers and cracks in their stonework.
He said: “The survey looked at the building’s quality or lack of quality in great detail.”
Glyn Turner, regional development manager for Langtree, said: “I want to make it absolutely clear that this was not a superficial assessment, but a very detailed structural survey.”
He said the survey “proved the case” for demolishing a building that sits in a Conservation Area.
Mr Turner said: “This building is not going to fall down immediately, but it would take a substantial amount of money to bring it back to some sort of leisure use.”
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is due to make a decision any day on an appeal over the sixth failed attempt to get listed building status.
Maud Marshall, chief executive of Bradford Centre Regeneration, said Yorkshire Forward and Langtree Artisan were determined to make the scheme go ahead despite the credit crunch, adding that their commitment was a sign of confidence in Bradford and the project “vital” to city renewal.
Dave Custance, assistant director of environment for regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which bought the site five years ago, said New Victoria Place would “set the standard” for development in Bradford.