Odeon safe for now as development scrapped

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BRADFORD’s landmark Odeon building has been granted a reprieve after a controversial regeneration project planned for its site was dramatically scrapped.

Campaigners who have fought a 10-year battle against the former cinema’s demolition were last night celebrating after its owner tore up its contract with the developer behind the stalled New Victoria Place project.

The Homes and Communities Agency has blamed Langtree after the developer called for more time to market the scheme.

The agency said it would not consent as it would change the terms of their development agreement and “perpetuate uncertainty” over the building’s future.

Regional director David Curtis said: “When it was clear that the developer wasn’t prepared to meet the obligation to commence with the scheme we decided to terminate the agreement.”

HCA will work with the council and community to secure a viable outcome for the site, he pledged.

Bradford Council leader Dave Green said he was pleased to have “closed this particular chapter” and hoped HCA would agree to allow groups and individuals to bring forward alternative plans.

Jim Mitcham, of Save Bradford Odeon, said the group would be submitting a bid and hoped the decision would change the face of regeneration in the city.

“All this uncertainty has left Bradford to decline – now we really need to pick it up with the Odeon as the centrepiece for moving Bradford forward and turn it into what we know it can be,” he said.