Building work on the planned £30 million Worth Valley Shopping Centre in Keighley has been put back six months.
But the delay in starting construction of the eagerly-anticipated East Parade complex is no cause for concern, leading politicians claim.
Leaders of Bradford Council’s Labour and Conservative groups say they understand the setback was unavoidable.
Property developer Stainsby Grange this week told the Keighley News it had taken longer than anticipated to complete purchases of all existing buildings on the five-acre site.
The last companies on the land – bordered by East Parade, Gresley Road, Coney Lane and the River Worth – moved out last November.
Spokesman, David Williams, said: “Demolition is taking longer than we thought because some of it is a bit more intricate. It’s a rolling programme that will take us to the end of March.”
Mr Williams added construction work would “more than likely” begin this autumn, with the 145,000 sq ft shopping centre now scheduled to open in spring 2015. Negotiations are ongoing with major retailers to take up some of the 14 units in the planned complex.
Mr Williams said: “We’re in discussions with various tenants. I can’t release other details – they’re all tied into confidentiality agreements.”
Labour councillor Dave Green, leader of Bradford Council, this week told the Keighley News the delay was caused by technical issues.
He said: “We have no concerns, though potentially the scheme’s a bit later than the developers or the people of Keighley would want.”
Conservative opposition leader Coun Glen Miller said Stainsby Grange had carried out most of the demolition ahead of schedule and is employing local contractors.
He added: “I’ve no cause for concern it will start within the six months. They has every commitment to the site and have invested quite a lot of money already.”
Stainsby Grange has worked on the the project for more than eight years, gradually buying nine separate properties to create space for both the shopping centre and a 350-space car park.
The company says the centre will create 600 jobs and attract big-name retail companies to Keighley. Multiplex giant Cineworld will run the centre’s eight-screen cinema.