A 29-year-old property developer has bought Delph House and Leylands House and plans to start the conversion scheme next month. He says the initiative will help the area "turn a corner" and provide a positive future for the community and local economy. "This will breathe new life into Keighley," said Nottingham-based Arran Bailey, owner of ALB Investments. "The apartments have such amazing views of beautiful countryside and it only seemed right to regenerate the blocks to match the surrounding landscape." He plans to turn the 53-year-old high-rise buildings, at Parkwood Rise, into 190 one and two-bed apartments. Work is expected to take 18 months to complete.
The sale of the tower blocks to ALB was handled by Eddisons, who said: “We had a significant amount of interest in both blocks – receiving in excess of ten bids – and are delighted to have secured a great result on behalf of our valued client. It's been fantastic to see a developer with such ambition."
Both the blocks – which over the decades have been plagued by problems with rampaging youths, malicious damage, graffiti, stinking rubbish and malfunctioning lifts – are now empty after remaining tenants were rehoused. The buildings were previously owned by housing association Incommunities, which carried out a viability study into their future as demand for the homes continued to fall. The association said it had worked closely with residents to help with their rehousing and provided assistance with individual moves. Jez Lester, Incommunities' assistant chief executive-asset management, added: “Having explored all the options, this sale provides the most viable way to give the existing blocks a new lease of life. “ALB’s investment will retain the buildings for modern quality living and offers a significant boost to the town. "The sale will also help us reinvest in our existing stock and continue our work to help meet the growing demand for more new family-sized housing.”
The regenerated blocks will feature 95 one-bed apartments and 95 two-bed apartments. The cost of the scheme and the sale price have not been disclosed. As part of the project, Bradford Council planners are now considering an application to carry out minor restructuring and decoration of the blocks' facades, which will accompany the internal refurbishments. The scheme is being carried out by Leeds-based headoffice3, which has designed the changes and is the main contractor. Chief executive officer, Glen Harding, said: “We're committed to using local labour and will work with local companies and agencies to create an environment that will attract young professionals and white-collar commuters to the cities of the Northern Powerhouse.”
We had a significant amount of interest in both blocks – receiving in excess of ten bids – and are delighted to have secured a great result on behalf of our valued client. It's been fantastic to see a developer with such ambition.