Airey housing estate in Rothwell

Post War Pre-fabricated ‘Airey’ housing estate to be replaced:

https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OY9I3AJBKSW00

Airey Housing.jpg

A concrete column parallel universe – how odd to see what appears to be the ubiquitous hipped roof council estate semi, transposed into pebble dashed concrete.

Some would argue that these buildings have been left standing for too long. Indeed they were only meant to serve their purpose for a decade or two, but alas these buildings have endured, and in a corner of rural South Leeds a relic to post-war utilitarian house building can be seen. Much like Anderson shelters or Bletchley Park, I find this place to be a monument to the generation that gave up so much to get through the second world war.

Presumably if they could survive another 50 years, then heritage status would be bestowed upon these houses, but for now they are still seen as an eyesore and no doubt a health and safety liability.

 

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Walk Mills, Keighley

Mid 18th century mill to be demolished in Keighley:

https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OY2LPZDHGSH00

Walk Mills Keighley.JPG

(forgive the quality of the image. There doesn’t seem to be any images of this building outside of Google Street View. Lets hope it is properly recorded before being smashed up)

Whilst reading the heritage statement (which always seem to have been complied by a wrecking ball salesmen), I noticed the reference to a pre-application meeting. Frankly, if a planning application comes forward following pre-application negotiations, then a decision has already been made, and the democratic right to publicly comment is devoid of meaning.

When a developer has sat around a table with council officers, having paid a grand for the privilege, they expect to get an expeditious planning approval.

So the fate of this remarkable building is already sealed. I will comment, and urge others to do so as well, however, the machinations within local government that will lead to the demise of this mill have been concluded.

I recommend reading the heritage assessment, as it is fascinating to see how  ‘heritage experts’ justify the loss of an assets like this with exceptionally tenuous arguments.

NB – also a big loss to the setting of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, which runs alongside this mill complex.

 

Less another pub in Leeds

Former Old Roundabout in Stanningly, Leeds:

https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OYN5RRJBLZ400

Old ROundabout Pudsey.JPG

Its always a shame to see a pub demolished in proximity of another pub, because two pubs together creates a drinking destination. A critical mass just enough to draw people in from far afield to experience the drinking culture of this particular domain. I suppose this now fridge area of Stanningly is not quite attractive enough to maintain such a buzz.

Very attractive and robust double pitched building that could stay, and be repurposed in any number of ways. Lets get some local listings of non-designated heritage assets formulated asap to avoid the loss of such humble but necessary buildings in towns like Stanningly.

The Flouch Inn, Stocksbridge

The sad demise of the Flouch Inn – 

https://wwwapplications.barnsley.gov.uk/PlanningExplorerMVC/Home/ApplicationDetails?planningApplicationNumber=2017%2F0989

Image result for Flouch Inn

 

Demolition of this pub has been on the cards for a while now. Oout in the Wilderness of the Pennines, the Flouch is called so because its former name of The Plough became weathered and Plough Became Flouch with the loss of a serif or two.

The demolition will make way for houses; an entirely unsustainable location, and the canabalisation of what could be a great pub  as part of the chain of cyclist stops found in this area.

Also being demolished is

Silkstone Working Men’s Club –

https://wwwapplications.barnsley.gov.uk/PlanningExplorerMVC/Home/ApplicationDetails?planningApplicationNumber=2017%2F0556

Tankersley Working Mans club.JPG

Not so pretty…but still a meaningful building

Union Mills, Eccleshill, Bradford

Robust stone industrial mills and pond to make way for a Lidl:

https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=OSBDUADHL3R00&activeTab=summary

Bradford Mill aerialLidl Bradford

A large amount of Victorian industrial building stock is to be lost for the expansion of Lidl’s empire.

A thesis could be written about the insidious colonisation of deprived areas by Lidl. Bad for health, the economy, culture, and the environment. Not wanting to digressing into sociological territory, I will try to summarise why this is a crime against conservation.

The mills of Bradford are being lost at an alarming rate, with the local authority not seeing the value (and being powerless) in retaining humble buildings such as Union Mills. What these buildings add to the local landscape is invaluable; punctuating the rolling countryside with implications of former industrial prowess. We diminish the essence of a place when we remove its history.

Particularly objectionable is the infill of the mill pond. Blue infrastructure is normally celebrated and protected. Not only for its value in biodiversity, but for the public who enjoy it as a destination for walking and angling.

The existing buildings function perfectly well. They are adaptable, and can be used for a variety of industries looking for different sizes of space. They provide economic opportunities that are vital for small businesses in the area.

The buildings that will replace them do not have these qualities. Lidl could very easily retrofit the existing complex for their purposes, but their rudimentary economic models can not integrate such innovative strategies into their expansionist masterplan. Cleared sites only please. And no architects. Shame on you Lidl.

 

Highland Pub, Central Leeds

Application to demolish the Highland Pub, just off Burley Street, Leeds

https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=ORS67BJBHJK00

HIghland Pub

 

 

Its been a few months since there has been any imminent threat to a historically important building in West Yorkshire, but a sad return to business as usual comes in the form of the proposed demolition of The Highland, to be replaced by 14 flats.

The pub is still thriving and has by various accounts undergone something of a renaissance lately.

A curious building that has survived the comprehensive demolition of this area to find itself bravely ensconced as a wedge between the high rises and the concrete monoliths of central Leeds. Stone setts still surround the building making this oasis look like a fissure in space-time.

Such a narrow plot shouldn’t be viable for development – only suitable for a Victorian pub, yet somehow it has caught the attention of a speculator. Couldn’t you develop the surface car park 5m to the right?

This highlights yet again a flaw in the planning system; no conservation area or listing status means that the council’s hands are tied. The only reprieve would be to deny permission on other grounds relating to design and hope the owner backs down and keeps the pub serving. Apparently its great in there. Check it out before it is no more.

 

 

Greenside Mills, Skelmanthorpe

Application to destroy an important complex of small mills in Kirklees:

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/planning-applications/search-for-planning-applications/detail.aspx?id=2017/91046

greenside mill 2

These three story stone edifices provide an important aspect to the narrative of a Yorkshire village, protruding above the roof pitches of the surrounding terraces and cottages of the village, indicating the close relationship between industry and domestic life. To lose buildings as vital as this to the Yorkshrie townscape (not to mention buildings that are perfectly robust) is a crime.

There is no other reason for this that to allow the developer to build and sell ‘products’ that are homogenous and can fit into their capital program.

Please Kirkleses, intervene, and start saving your beautiful historic villages! There are not that many left now.

greenside mill 3

Above is the suggested layout. I am absolutely certain this will have been devised at a desk by a technician with no other remit for design other than ‘as many units can you get on there please mate’.

Future generations will one day ask why we made this country so boring.