Six would-be developers of multi-million pound schemes for Odsal Stadium will go forward to the next round after councillors decided not to shortlist the bidders last night.

The decision by the Council's regeneration committee came after discussions behind closed doors on a confidential report by consultants brought in by Bradford Council to evaluate the schemes.

The Telegraph & Argus reported yesterday that it was believed two major developers may not get past the starting line.

The decision to have further discussions with all the companies and examine their schemes further comes in spite of the view of a senior Tory councillor that the Council should go back to the drawing board and prepare a new planning brief for the home of Super League stars Bradford Bulls.

The development of the stadium has been delayed for five years after the Council granted extensions when Superdome boss John Garside failed to deliver his £200 million scheme.

Committee chairman Councillor Dave Green said all six schemes would go forward in view of confidential information which had gone into the public arena.

He said: "Not-for-publication documents are usually for a reason, not sheer bloody-mindedness."

He said the matter had raised legal issues which constrained many of the things the committee may have been able to do. He added: "All six developers will go forward to the next stage."

But Councillor Richard Wightman (Con, Rombalds), deputy leader of the Council's Tory group, said: "It seems probable that all the bidders' schemes will be outside the existing planning consents for the stadium."

He said any new planning applications would have to go to the Secretary of State for Transport and Environment, John Prescott, adding: "That will lead to some delay and I think we should start a fresh exercise now."

Companies in the line-up are the Odsal Dome Company; Chelverton Properties and Yorkshire Water Estate; St Modwen, Sterling Capitol, McAlpine Special Projects and the Stavidarios Group Ltd.

They have all put forward proposals for major developments including top-class stadiums, shopping and leisure.

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