CRIMINALS have done tens of thousands of pounds of damage to a landmark Huddersfield building.
Thieves are believed to have spent several nights in the vacant Palace Theatre stripping cable from the historic venue.
Furious owner Simmy Sekhon told the Examiner that the damage to the unoccupied building could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
“They have taken all the historic chandeliers from the theatre,” he said.
“The thieves have stripped all the mains cables out over the last three or four weeks.
“I’ve been told that it will cost £50,000 to £60,000 to replace all the wiring.
“The building has been violated, it’s been ripped to pieces.”
Mr Sekhon bought the former theatre on the corner of Venn Street and Kirkgate last year.
The Leeds-based property developer has submitted a plan to Kirklees Council to convert the building into 87 student flats.
But the council’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-committee has twice deferred making a decision on the plan, which could endanger W D Huddersfield’s proposal to extend the nearby Kingsgate Centre.
Mr Sekhon said the delays in deciding on his application made the building more vulnerable to thieves.
“These games the council are playing have cost me £60,000,” he said.
“If the work to convert the building was underway then we would have on-site security and none of this would have happened.”
Mr Sekhon reported the crime to police on Wednesday.
The thefts are believed to have taken place at night over the last month.
The developer still hopes to win planing permission to convert the building into student flats, despite the Huddersfield Planning Sub-committee delaying a decision at its monthly meetings in April and May.