Archive | September 2014

Bradford, again!

Another palatial building looks likely to be torn down in Bradford.

bradford fitness first 2

No heritage statement with this application strangely enough – although a heritage statement ALWAYS vociferously favours demolition so no loss there. I’m not too sure what the history of this building is but it looks like a probably vVictorianschool that is now occupied by fitness first. The frontage is so very impressive, and with this loss, another fragment of authentic pre consumer capitalist culture is lost.

bradford fitness first

Its difficult to integrate a building like this into a development, but a talented urban designer could create a fantastic esoteric residential area here. Architects, this is a call to arms.


2 entire industrial blocks in Sheffield

This is some real land clearance in Sheffield. A conservation area based upon its virtue as a historic industrial area is to be cleared;

sheffield map

Now Im in no way suggesting the entire block should be retained – much of the build here is shoddy – but the block has been developed in such a piecemeal way that a lot of variation exists within the street frontage. See Jane Jacobs for why this is imprtant in urban design.

City centre developments now demand huge amounts of space, with complete clearance. What makes industrial cities beautiful are the remnants of the past can can be found tucked between glistening skyscrapers.

sheffield lock

Once the land assembly people have this entire block under one  deed, we will lose the variation along the street that is a result of parcelled ownership. Shame.

Instead, it would be nice to see some of the 3 and 4 story building retained, and newer developments incorporating them into a masterplan. But alas, the construction industry is devastatingly risk averse.

Demolition of Rosemount in Bradford

Another application to destroy an impressive Victorian urban manor. Bradford has a reputation for a city that has been cavalier with its Victorian building stock and this is no exception. Rosemount is the last remaining vestige of Victorian architecture in the Apsley Crescent conservation area.

Not the best photo, but all google street view would allow.

Indigo planning have put together a very dubious heritage statement. Im sure if the cash was there they would explain how Notre Dam needs to be bbulldozedfor affordable housing.

They state that ‘the quality residential cul-de-sac is sympathetic’ – cul-de-sacs did not exist in victorian times and therefore can not be congruous to the conservation area.

They also suggest that ‘The recent residential development reduces the buildings contribution to the character of the conservation area’ – then surely your development will further diminish this quality?

The design of the new buildings preserves the Conservation Area – I believe they call this an oxymoron. NO part of the building or the street plan is retained, how then is this preserving anything at all??

Finally, the heritage statement is adamant that the building is beyond repair, yet how can we take the word of a consultant on the books of the client. Heritage assets need to be properly inspected by a third party before they are condemned as unsafe and not viable.

An entire Victorian block in Bradford

Bradford CIty Council have made a few applications of late of which are reminiscent of their cavalier 1960s wreking ball attitude to the city centre. In this instance, 4 properties that constitute much of the entire block have been condemned.

bradfrod cluster 2 bradfrod cluster 3

Shrewdly they are applying that caveat in planning law in which the demolition and development are seperate applications, meaning objections based upon conservation can be eschewed. Something needs to be done to patch up this loop hole.

Its a rough street, but the dirt is superficial, and with some effort you would retain a beautiful historic street front and the cobbled yard to the rear.