Odeon decision 'could be good for the city'

Conservative spokesman on the Council, Coun Rebecca Poulsen

Conservative spokesman on the Council, Coun Rebecca Poulsen

First published in The Odeon Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Politicians within the district have reacted positively to the announcement by the HCA yesterday over the Odeon’s future.

George Galloway , Respect MP for Bradford West, which covers the city centre, said he was delighted the agreement had been cancelled.

“I predicted when I was elected that it was now impossible for the Odeon to be demolished. The people of Bradford have roundly rejected the destruction of the Odeon. This is a tribute to all who have campaigned so hard for so long to save the Odeon.

“I have written to the Prime Minister and the Communities Minister, Eric Pickles who was a Bradford councillor for many years, demanding a public enquiry into the regeneration debacle which has not only left the Odeon shrink-wrapped and in an appalling condition, but which has given us the Westfield hole.”

He has also tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling on the Government to conduct an inquiry into Bradford’s regeneration and to develop a strategy to bring investment to the city.

The Conservative group on the Council, which was running the authority when the original deal was signed, said it “could actually be positive news for the site and for Bradford city centre as a whole”.

Coun Rebecca Poulsen, the group’s spokesman for regeneration said: “It should be remembered that the site has been derelict and thus available for the company to market as a development scheme for quite a long period now and if they have had insufficient interest to comply with the terms of the Section 106 agreement, there is little to suggest that interested parties are just around the corner.

“The lack of progress could be indefinite as the scheme may simply no longer be viable in the new economic climate in which we operate.

“With this in mind, the HCA decision might well allow for an alternative developer to be identified, who can bring forward an alternative scheme which may be more viable in the new conditions.”

Coun Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Lib Dems on the Council, said: “It’s good news. Now we need some progress and to see a plan that reflects what the public wanted.”

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