Halfway House pub, Wyke, Bradford

Outline application for the demolition of a pub to make way for a vehicle service yard:

The Halfway House pub managed to reopen again after Covid-19 lockdowns and was serving the local community well until quite recently at which point the pub suddenly closed, presumably to create a vacant asset ripe for a demolition application.

Clearly a pub in this location is viable, and its demolition would represent the loss of a vital community facility, further eroding the social capital of this already struggling old mill town. Pubs close and reopen all the time. To have been shuttered for 12 months is no indication that it is redundant.

Particularly concerning would be the building’s replacement with a tarmac hardstanding and industrial utility for car repairs and cleaning. This is town centre street, which is characterised by dense built form and elevations facing the road. A mechanics workshop would see a large hole cut out of the urban fabric of central Wyke.

The fact this in an outline application to test the water suggests the applicant knows that this is folly. I hope the Council agree.

An image of the pub from 1908 shows how the pub contributes to the attractive townscape of Wyke.

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Valley Mills, Drighlington

Industrial campus to be cleared for a new suburb:

Not the grandest of Yorkshire’s mills, this dark red brick complex of north-light buildings, houses, and mills is to be cleared for a very dull volume house build in this rural location in between the cities of Leeds and Bradford.

A heritage-led masterplan would see the terraced houses retained, and all the two-story elements utilised as a nucleus from which to design the rest of the site. No such vision from the architects that have put together this layout, which suffers from the usual standardised highway widths, corner radii, and housing types.

Even the retention of the road layout would at least leave a token allsuion to the site’s history. And always worth a mention is the incredble waste of embedded carbon which could be saved if the buildings were rennovated and not demolished.

Former Huddersfield Technical College

Application from 2018 finally determined:

https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/planning-applications/search-for-planning-applications/detail.aspx?id=2018%2f92647

Thankfully the main portico building will not be lost to this development (which looks to be predominantly surface carparking). However the latter elements of the stone building are to be lost, including the linking tower from 1876. The entire building benefits from a Grade II* listing, however this has tacitly only applied to what was the 1831 Infirmary building.

The original Infirmary building, shown with the 1876 extension to the right, including the linking tower which will be demolished

The bulk of the campus to be lost dates from 1932, and hints towards an art deco character. The building fronting Halifax Road is from earlier (circa 1901), and boasts an excellent mansard roof, the loss of which will be regrettable for Huddersfield.

It is a shame that the towers and the 1901 block couldn’t be negotiated for, as they are stunning buildings that establish a strong urban grain in this part of the Town Centre.

The new supermarket will be a stark contrast with the ornate civic character of the college. The apartments to the north laudably address the street frontage. However, the contrasting architecture of the buildings my result in the Old Infirmary appearing as an awkward relic.

It is also frustrating that this approval has suddenly appeared 4 years after the original application. It will be quite a shock to the people of Huddersfield to see this quarter being suddenly torn up.

The art deco (ish) elevation facing Portland Street, which will be lost

Terraced High Street in Bradford

A row of Victorian commercial buildings to be demolished for a retail park:

This Victorian Terrace has lost much of its character thanks to the relaxed approach to signage and box dormers in Bradford, but a keen eye can still see the original detailing of the frontage and rhythm of the building line.

However, what is lamentable here is the proposed replacement – the curiously named ‘Jinnah Park’:

Quite an intensification of land, and a significant departure in character. Still, I’m sure Jinnah Park will be a commercial success, and if it makes one of Bradford’s newest communities feel they have made a their mark on the city, then maybe its the right move.

The Beehive Inn, Salford

A community owned pub in Salford to be bulldozed:

This pub, themed on the iconic Manchester Bee (albeit in Salford) was saved from conservation to flats in 2016 by a Norwegian Manchester City fan.

Described by the Salford Star as the last pub in the area, its loss would resonate through this beleaguered community. ‘This community needs this pub, there needs to be something for the community, you can’t take everything away from it’ one resident commented when the pub faced closure in 2016.

Closed in march and quickly sold to a developer, there is no evidence to demonstrate the lack of demand for a pub here. Quite the opposite in fact.

I hope the planning officers engages the full arm of planning policy, now that the demolition of pubs have been removed from the general permitted development order – with good reason.

The pub shown in red, was once surrounded by industry and housing, but now is within a desolate urban edge

The Brewers Arms, Ladybarn, Manchester

Suburban pub in south Manchester to be demolished for 3 houses:

Closed since late 2019 and yet to reopen following Covid, the pub is up for demolition with the developer arguing that the windows would be inadequate for residential conservation. I don’t see it myself.

The only pub in Ladybarn, this charming building with an unmatching gable pair would render this area of the City without a local. Once unheard of, swathes of residential suburbs are losing their local hubs, be it shops, pubs, or banks. Houses and Lidls are the future it would seem.

Amazingly, this street is just around the corner from a student area. Students still drink occasionally don’t they?

The last social media post suggests the pub closed because the landlord left for an adventure. No evidence to suggest that a pub is not viable here. Its another example of a brewery cashing in on their assets for a quick balancing of the books after a tough year.

George Hotel, Hull

Pub to be lost just down the road from the KC stadium in Hull:

This late Victorian Pub has been subject to arson in the l last few years, leaving it bereft of a functioning roof. Its location, near the football stadium, would see a decent footfall here if properly enticed as there is no doubt about a demand for pints in this location.

Left redundant since 2016, the pub has been inevitably been vandalised and set ablaze. A few years ago the demolition would not have required planning permission, so it is good to see a full application subject to the Conservation Officer’s consideration come in. Unfortunately the building is now a hazard and the demolition is likely to be given the go ahead.

The first of many pubs to be flattened this month…

Wybourn Hotel, Sheffield

Pub to make way for a car wash:

Its been a quiet few months in demolition terms, which is good news for Yorkshire’s built heritage.

Sadly this month sees a charming pub in Sheffield up for the chop to make way for a concrete hardstanding that would be a car wash.

This pub is just down the road from the iconic Park Hill, which is now a thriving residence of bright young things. But they don’t seem to go to the pub. To my knowledge, there is no other drinkery for miles. The thousands of houses in Wybourne will no longer have a local.

The Council could resist this, as it would be a change of use and intensify the vehicle egress onto the highway. At that point im sure a number of uses would come forward that would result in the retention of the building. And in years to come maybe the residents of Park Hill will decide to be more sociable.

Victorian Terrace, Birstall

Adandonned Victorian terrace in Birstall:

www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/planning-applications/search-for-planning-applications/detail.aspx?id=2022/92081

A very modest terrace of four dwellings, two stories to the front, three to the rear. Classic Victorian housing stock that could have lasted forever if looked after.

The image above doesn’t show any building of architectural merit, but it is the short stone terraced rows like this that make west yorkshire special. They will be replaced with an undisclosed supermarket. Aldi or Lidl I expect.

Minus 4 units for Kirklees’ housing target then.

Nelson Inn, Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury

Pub in South Dewsbury demolished: www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/planning-applications/search-for-planning-applications/detail.aspx?id=2022/92094

The Nelson Inn, having been closed for around a year has been demolished unlawfully by accounts from the local residents. This is strange, as the propsed plans do not show any alterations to the building, just its conversion to an Islamic learning centre and prayer room.

The applicant states that they will rebuild like for like, but I anticipate a few minor amendments coming in, or even an alternative scheme one the the principle of development is approved.

I cant think why any religeous institution would wish to invest in a building that resembles a Victorian pub. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one.