Ladies and Gentlemen – I am so excited to announce that the Langtree development scheme for Bradford Odeon has been scrapped!
You may remember a few weeks ago that I had posted about the Bradford Odeon’s inevitable doom. If people didn’t stand up and try and save this historic building, a beautiful piece of art and history would have been lost to us forever.
You all listened! Petitions were signed, celebrities stepped in with their support such as Tom Hiddleston (who plays Loki in the Marvel films), and the world rejoices at the results!
I want to personally thank everyone who stepped in and helped! Even if you just tweeted about it, everything you did made a difference.
The article below was published by By Jo Winrow, City Hall Reporter, which gives you a wonderful breakdown of the events.
Langtree development scheme for Bradford Odeon scrapped
Plans to redevelop Bradford’s Odeon site and create offices, a hotel and apartments in its place have been scrapped as the owner of the building has decided to pull the plug on the development.
The Homes and Communities Agency has grown frustrated with Langtree, the company behind a long-standing plan to redevelop the key Prince’s Way site, and has terminated a legal agreement between them.
It means the New Victoria Place development on the site of the former cinema building, which has been earmarked for demolition for the best part of a decade, will not now go ahead.
The Government’s HCA has blamed the developer for failing to comply with the terms of the development agreement after Langtree called for more time to market the scheme to potential occupants.
It comes three months after the HCA first signed a vital section 106 agreement, which Langtree was expected to add its signature to before passing the document to Bradford Council to seal. This would have given the developer valid planning permission for its development as well as conservation area consent to demolish the 1930s building, including its iconic twin towers.
But the sticking point appears to have been Langtree’s reluctance to trigger an eight month period in the development agreement in which it would have to prove it had a viable scheme in place as well as tenants and the finances before it could proceed to demolition.
The news will come as a relief to those campaigning to save the historic building and give them renewed hope that the building can be permanently saved but the structural condition of the building remains unclear.
David Curtis, HCA executive director for the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “Since assuming ownership for the building a year ago, we’ve been working hard to look after the building, remove potentially fatal asbestos and resolve the complex legal issues surrounding the plans for its future.
“We know the Bradford public has been frustrated at the uncertainty surrounding the building – and we’ve been frustrated too. When it was clear that the developer wasn’t prepared to meet the obligation to commence with the New Victoria scheme we decided to terminate the agreement.
“We haven’t taken this decision lightly and it won’t be a simple task to resolve the building’s future. But we’re determined to secure a viable outcome for the site and we’ll work with the Council and local community to find a solution that meets their ambitions for the city centre.”
He added that Langtree wanted to extend the eight month period, but that they were not prepared to agree to this as it would change the terms of the original development agreement they inherited when they took over the building from Yorkshire Forward a year ago this week. In that time he confirmed they had spent more than £1 million on the building, making it safe and removing asbestos.
He said they would offer the building to Bradford Council, but would need Government approval before it could be transferred. He added that all options were open for the building but that any plan would need to be “commercially viable” and that he expected its future to be determined within 12 months.
Councillor David Green , leader of the Council, welcomed the announcement, saying he was “pleased” with the outcome, which could lead to all or part of the 1930s building being saved.
“I am pleased that we have closed this particular chapter on the Odeon which gives us the opportunity to rethink the future of the building.
“We will be speaking to the Homes and Communities Agency about all the issues relating to the Odeon, including future ownership. What I hope they 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.
“I would hope to be meeting the HCA in the near future and to be able to come to an agreement along these lines so that those individuals and organisations with alternative plans will know the timescale in which they have to prepare their business cases. I would hope that one or more of these schemes can be taken forward to the next stage.
“I have consistently stated the view of the Labour group that we would want to see all or as much of the building as possible being retained in a viable and sustainable scheme and this now gives the opportunity for this.”
He added that given the current financial situation, the Council had no money to buy the building from the HCA and would be unlikely to be in a position to invest in the building.
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