Major blow as Northgate shopping centre plan is scrapped

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The plan to redevelop Northgate House and Halifax Central library site into a shoppiing centre has been scrapped after Calderdale Council cancelled its agreement with the developers.

Following a competitive tendering exercise the Council entered into an option agreement (development) with Leeds-based Oakapple Group to spearhead a retail development in 2015.

The firm released artists impressions of the site and work was scheduled on the site in early to mid -2017. Units have been advertised to buy and to let by Walker Singleton.

However, in a report by Mark Thompson, the acting director, economy and environment at Calderdale Council, he said Oakapple’s current proposal for development of the Northgate site represented a ‘significant departure from the scheme they submitted during the competitive tendering process carried out in 2015’.

The Council said acceptance of Oakapple’s revised scheme would be contrary to the tender process and would leave the council ‘exposed to challenge from other parties to it’.

The authority would now have to re-consider its development strategy for the site and this would mean the termination of the current agreement with Oakapple.

For the reasons outlined in the report Cabinet agreed to the immediate termination of the option agreement took place.

Mr Thopmson has been asked to submit a further report on a revised redevelopment strategy for the Northgate site to a future meeting of Cabinet for consideration.

The development of the Northgate site was expected to be one of the final steps in an extensive redevelopment programme which has included the Broad Street Plaza, the opening of the Orangebox youth complex, the new Customer First Centre in Horton Street and the continuing work on the £19m transformation of the Piece Hall.

Some names suggested for the new shopping centre had included Primark and Next.

In a statement from the Council Mr Thompson, said: “In 2015 the Council marketed Northgate House in Halifax through a competitive tendering exercise and entered into an agreement with Oakapple Group Ltd to redevelop the site.

“Oakapple Group has worked hard on the redevelopment of the Northgate House site but their current proposal is significantly different to the scheme submitted during the competitive tendering process.

“The Council has taken the decision to end the agreement with Oakapple, since the revised scheme would be contrary to the tender process.

“The Council is now drawing up a new development strategy for the site.”