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Keighley College demolition plan hopes to encourage buyer
Parts of the former Keighley College will be demolished to make the building more attractive to potential buyers.
Bradford Council revealed it wants to demolish the North Street building’s boiler house and meter room, as well as the canopy over the Cavendish Street entrance, as part of the latest push to market the building after years of little interest.
The local authority has to apply for consent for any works on it because the building lies in a conservation area.
It was vacated when the college moved to a new building near Keighley railway station in 2010, and the council then purchased the site.
Although the Cavendish Street building had been proposed as possible council offices, the future of the larger North Street building has been up in the air ever since the closure, with ideas ranging from a hotel to the building being demolished and turned into a park.
Once the ‘unnecessary’ parts of the building are demolished, the council will put the site back on the market.
Coun Val Slater, executive member for housing, planning and transport, said: “The North Street building of the former Keighley College is owned by the council and will be going back on the market in the near future in order to promote this prominent site for re-use.
“The current application is to allow some minor work to be carried out to remove unnecessary features of the building that could become problematic in any future use of the site.”
But one councillor is sceptical such “tinkering” will make the building saleable. Coun Andrew Mallinson said: “I think it’s just a waste of time and money.
“Tinkering around the edges by demolishing parts of the building would just add to the confusion over its future and will be detrimental to the town.
“Knocking it down and clearing the site is the only way to make it attractive again. Any potential buyer would be looking at the site, and not the building. It is not suitable for apartments or modern office space.”
With the world’s media descending on Keighley next summer when the Tour de France passes through, he feels it is more important than ever the town does not appear run down.
Coun Mallinson added: “We need something rather than a redundant building detracting from the positive message Keighley could give.”