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Action urged over future of derelict Keighley college sites
Delays in finding new uses for the former Keighley College site have been criticised by Bradford councillors representing the town.
Town Centre Partnership chairman Andrew Mallinson fears the two buildings will become a target for arsonists and thieves. And Abid Hussain, who represents Keighley Central ward, branded the college complex a white elephant that should be sold.
Their comments came after Keighley Town Council bosses demanded top-level talks over the future of the derelict buildings.
The Bradford Council-owned buildings, at the junction of North Street and Cavendish Street, have been empty since 2010 and the North Street building was put up for sale last January.
Last week, the council said the North Street building was still being assessed for possible uses and the Cavendish Street building might be used for council services.
Coun Mallinson, chairman of Bradford Council’s regeneration and economy scrutiny committee, said Bradford Council should invest in Keighley’s future by demolishing both buildings and levelling the land.
He said: “That would open up a greater number of opportunities for an entrepreneur or developer to come forward with an imaginative scheme of mixed use that would maintain the vitality of the town centre.
“There are so many uses that could be put to that site, but not the buildings because they are out of date and no longer in keeping with what a modern town needs.”
Coun Hussain, whose Keighley Central ward includes the college, said the situation did not seem to have changed since he and fellow ward councillors were briefed by council officers several months ago. He said he was then told the cost of demolishing the former college would be £750,000, and that someone was interested in buying one of the buildings.
Coun Hussain added: “I would like something to be done as quickly as possible. If someone wants to invest money in this building, it should be good for the community.”
Keith Dredge, who represents Keighley West ward on Bradford Council, said there were “half a dozen” possibilities for the future of the college site.
In last week's Keighley News we stated Keighley Town Council was looking at taking over the former college buildings using asset transfer or “community right to buy” legislation.
Planning chairman Peter Corkindale has asked us to clarify he meant the town council could provide support to any people in the community interested in using such legislation.
He stressed the town council had no intention of buying the college buildings.