Talks on the future of Northgate House and demolition plan

What does the future hold for Northgate House and Halifax Central Library?
What does the future hold for Northgate House and Halifax Central Library?

The future of Northgate House and the old Halifax Central library will be discussed by Calderdale Council leaders next month.

It was revealed in May this year that major regeneration plan to turn Northgate House and Halifax Central library into a retail complex has been scrapped.

In a capital programme monitoring report that will go before Calderdale Council's Cabinet on Monday, it revealed an update and an options paper is set to go before councillors.

Following a competitive tendering exercise Calderdale 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 the contact was terminated due to Oakapple putting forward an alternative scheme due to the units not being taken up.

A spokesperson for Calderdale Council said: “Oakapple made significant efforts but were ultimately unsuccessful in securing the pre-lets which would have made the scheme at Northgate viable, at the scale which they originally planned.

“As Oakapple’s revised scheme was significantly smaller to the one accepted by the Council in the 2015 tender process, we could not allow it to be taken forward.”

The Council’s Director of Economy and Environment, Mark Thompson, also said the council could proceed with the alternative plan.

“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.”

The redevelopment of Northgate House is part of an overall £1 billion investment in the region from the Leeds City Region Growth Fund - £1.3million was secured from the Local Growth Fund for this major infrastructure project.

The funding was to be used to pay for the demolition of the Northgate House and the Central Library and Archive buildings and subsequent clearance of the site.