BRADFORD is set to get a brand new cinema complex, after a planning committee backed the scheme unanimously.

The six-screen cinema, eight restaurants and a gym will be built on the site of the disused Royal Mail sorting office at Valley Road, which lies between The Broadway shopping centre, Forster Square retail park and Forster Square railway station.

The development, called Forster Square Retail, is set to create 200 jobs as well as a further 100 construction jobs, developer British Land told Bradford Council's regulatory and appeals committee today.

James Honeyman, of British Land, said the firm was "a long-term investor in Bradford", that it had already invested around £120m in the city and had owned Forster Square retail park for 15 years.

He said: "We would very much like to be part of keeping the momentum, investment and positivity in Bradford going forward."

Committee member Councillor Michelle Swallow (Lab, Clayton and Fairweather Green) said she would like to see the development happen, but queried whether there was an appetite for so many cinemas in Bradford city centre.


She said she remembered a time when there were lots of cinemas and people could visit frequently as they were affordable, then the numbers fell.

She said: "Now we seem to have a proliferation of cinemas. I'm just wondering how people are going to afford it.

"There has got to be a limit on what people can bear in the area."

Planning officer Stewart Currie said there was another new cinema planned as an extension to The Broadway, as well as the existing screens at Cineworld and the National Media Museum.

He said the market would determine whether the city could support two new cinemas.

He said: "Hopefully, they both go ahead. If they do both go ahead, hopefully they will be well supported by the people of Bradford."

No objectors spoke at the meeting and the committee heard the scheme had the backing of the Chamber of Trade and Network Rail, which owns the railway station.

Committee chairman, Councillor David Warburton (Lab, Wyke) asked how soon they would start work, if permission was granted.

Mr Honeyman said there was demolition work to do and they had to finalise arrangements with potential occupiers.

He said: "We would like to get on site as quickly as we can. We have no reason to hold back."

The committee approved the scheme unanimously, with Cllr Warburton saying he was "extremely delighted" to back it.