Archive | August 2014

Last fragments of the canalside in Mirfield

I was saddened to see the last industrial building on Station Road in Mirfield put up for demolition, as this street faces the canal, and is cobbled – it truly is one of the last authentically Victorian environments left in the town.

mirfield canal station road

It is quite clear to me that any residential or even commerical redevelopment of this site would benefit immensely from retaining this frontage.  Finding tenants has become about branding and the creation of a location. Victorian stock adjacent to canals (and cobbles to boot), flies off the real estate shelves. Don’t demolish this last vestige of industrial Mirfield, its bloody beautiful.


Industrial Street frontage, Bradford

A large site in Bradford is to be flattened for purposes of progress by Lubna Foods. The buildings are not remarkable, but they do constitute a very appealing street frontage;

Planning application for Garnett Street, Bradford.

bradford garnett street

bradford garnett street 2

It is these streets, just away from city centres that have traditionally been the preserve of creative start-ups, offering commercial space for nascent industries, and that is how the regeneration of a city through the creative class happens. The problem is, if you allow these post industrial areas to be demolished before they come to life, before they are discovered by intrepid urbanites, then your population loses its creative class, and you don’t have a city anymore.

Also to be lost is a chimney that would make Fred Dibnah weep;

Royal Public House in Shipley

Here is Yorkshire not a week goes by without the promise of the demolition of a Victorian public house. This stately pub in Shipley has its neck under the guillotine.


shipley pubShipley Pub 2


They don’t make chimneys like that anymore, do they?

Pubs always tend to be the last vestige of real urban life in Yorkshire towns, before the well meaning utopian created their short lived tower block paradises. This area of Shipley is brutal and sparse, but this pub reminds us of a time of lively streets and genuine urban culture. Without the mills though, who can prop up the bar?


Terraced house demolition, Bradford

Another example of a terraced property set for demolition is 189 Carlisle Road, Bradford.

Carlisle Road Bradford

There is never any recourse to heritage consideration in a deprived area such as this, bus still, I can’t understand how the complexity of demolishing a terraced house can outweigh the returns. Surely a relinquishment would make more sense. This would also avoid th destruction of the Victorian Street front. Insignificant maybe, but bit by bit we will lose it all.

Rustic antiques shop in Pudsey to go

This antiques shop in Pudsey is to be demolished;

Pudsey antiques shop

These two properties in Pudsey are looking a bit ramshackle, but there is a Parisian rustic quality to these buildings that gives warmth to the character of Pudsey.It is also sad that a terraced property can still be a victim of the wrecking ball, as I had always hoped that the contiguous relationship to neighbours would be a complexity to deter the bean counting developers. Rough around the edges, but a loss nonetheless.

Victorian Baths in Elland bulldozed without permission

Very sad to see the Victoria Baths in Elland being demolished this week due to structural instability. DIGITAL CAMERA

There are not many towns that have been ruined to the extent that Elland has. The loss of industry and the town’s train station, followed by the cursory modernist regeneration of the 60s have left this small town without purpose and wholly deprived. Sadly this last remnant of the once striking town centre has been condemned, with the levelling process beginning before any permission has been granted. I suppose expedience like this is at the councils discretion, particularly as it falls falls within a conservation area.

Apparently it would have cost a million pounds to maintain the structure. A (dubiously) large amount indeed, but how much will be spent on whatever new Community Centre/Elland Action Team facility will be built there instead. Maybe if it had gone to tender on a wider platform or a private owner could have been found, slightly more of Elland town centre wouldn’t be condemned to rubble.

Demolition of a 19th Century stately home for a car park

I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging as I’ve been so busy with a new job (in a planning consultancy – behind the iron curtain so to speak).

So many interesting and needless applications in Yorkshire have been made over the last few weeks, with a wide tranche of demolitions planned, and most likely approved before the end of the year.

I can’t quite believe that the following has gone unnoticed by the Huddersfield press;

Application to demolish Dalton Grange House

The picture says it all. I do not need to explain why this is outrageous;

Dalton Grange

Syngenta, the applicant, is a major employer in Hddersfield, which I’m sure will result in the council subserviently complying to all demands set out on the table. The applicant even has the gall to  acknowledge that the land will be used as a car park to serve the nearby stadium. Thats right, a stately home from the 19th century is to be demolished to extend a car park.

Needless to say the Victorian Society share my concern/apoplexy and are helping with the listing process.

This case also highlights that awful clause in planning law – you do not need planning permission to demolish if you do not intend to build on the land. Permission is only required for the demolition process itself. If a building is not listed or within a conservation area (which somehow Dalton Grange isn’t) then it is yours to level as you wish.

Hopefully the bats will save the day, as concerns abut loss of habitat have been raised.

For a building that was functioning as an events venue until very recently, this would be a preventable loss of a building that means so much to so many.