City chiefs to approve schemes worth millions

SCHEMES worth millions of pounds are expected to be rubberstamped shortly by Bradford Council’s executive.

A report for the meeting on Friday, April 20, requests the release of funds to progress new capital commitments, which range from the opening of a new restaurant to the building of 80 new homes, across the city

One of the schemes includes spending £718,000 on the re-use of former college buildings in Keighley.

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The council bought three buildings in central Keighley to facilitate the construction of Leeds City College’s new campus in the town.

Over the past year or so money has been spent on the development with the recommendation that funding is released in 2012-13 to “enable the demolition of the North Street building should the site prove more attractive to developers without the building”.

A further £220,000 is needed for opening a new Gods restaurant at the Alhambra Theatre which is due to close for a short period to accommodate the installation of a new passenger lift.

The report says it is hoped installation will begin “in July 20112.

Installing and opening a new restaurant at this time would be financially beneficial as the theatre has to close for a short period.”

Elsewhere, in Ilkley and Bingley there are requests for more than £2m to be released to help deliver 80 affordable rented properties at three council-owned sites, two in Ilkley and one in Bingley.

The report says “there is acute need for affordable accommodation”. In total, accommodation for up to 600 individuals will be produced.

In addition more than £1m is asked for to spend on the Goitside development near the city centre “to bridge a funding gap in Incommunities’ redevelopment of a site”.

There would be a mixed tenure development of 33 houses.

On the environmental front £1.6m is asked for to enable the implementation of a first phase of renewable energy generation projects including solar photovoltaic systems, micro hydro power generation and small-scale wind turbine development.

The report says: “These projects within the programme are estimated to have a renewable energy generating capacity of 490,00kwh – equivalent to around 2 per cent of the corporate annual electricity demand... further approval will be required to release the additional £3.4m.”

Officers have also asked for £1.28m to develop the council-owned, controversial Buck Lane development in Lower Baildon which has had planning permission since December 2010 for the construction of an access road and outline planning for a high value, science park.

The report says: “It is expected that this will create ‘grow on space’ within the district for indigenous Bradford companies who (sic) need to expand.

Bradford centre regeneration is said to require a further £72,000 for the redevelopment of the Kabul Motors building which is owned by the council and directly abuts the Burnett Street car park in Little Germany.

The report says the site is currently derelict and a liability to the council.

The provision of allotments at Beech Grove will need £225,000 the report’s author says to enable “the development of allotments to be programmed into the redevelopment of the site”.

Bradford councillor John Robertshaw said he was unsure about the priority of spending money on a new restaurant at the Alhambra while old people’s homes were being closed.