Fears over future of former Keighley College building

First published in Keighley by

The former Keighley College building in North Street could be knocked down by next April, says a leading councillor.

Andrew Mallinson claims Bradford Council will be forced to demolish the derelict building if it is not sold soon.

He revealed that the council had set aside money in this financial year for the demolition work.

He said: “It creates a timescale that Bradford Council has to work in. By December the decision will have to be made.

“It will require planning consent because it’s in a conservation area, and there has to be evidence that nobody has come forward with a good scheme.”

Coun Mallinson, who represents Craven ward on Bradford Council, made the revelation following last week’s meeting of Keighley Town Centre Association.

He went to the meeting to demand more openness from the council about who was interested in buying the North Street building and its sister building in Cavendish Street.

The council-owned buildings have been empty since 2010 and efforts have been made to sell them since early in 2012.

A council spokesman this week said potential buyers currently showing an interest ranged from entrepreneurs to large companies.

He said: “There has been active interest in both buildings and the marketing process continues.

“We know the issue is of interest to the town, but the council has to respect commercial confidentiality until the time is right for wider public consumption.”

Coun Mallinson this week said he hoped the two sites would be sold together, perhaps after the North Street site had been cleared.

He said: “It will be very disappointing if the Cavendish Street building is sold for one use then the North Street building is something alternative that may clash.

“I would like to see a package of schemes with multi-uses, but one overall design.

“I still have concerns that we will have buildings that sit there for years, getting dilapidated. We need political will from Bradford to make things happen.”

Steve Seymour, chairman of Keighley Town Centre Association, welcomed the interest being shown in the college buildings but admitted he would prefer more details.

He said: “We have to be patient and hope this interest leads to redevelopment rather than the site needing demolition or remarketing.”

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