Archive | October 2014

Unremarkable, but vital buildings

A small building in the industrial belt of Bradford has a demolition application set to it.

Unremarkable bradford

Individually buildings like this demonstrate no aesthetic grandeur, but should this block in Bradford be regenerated, the industrial building stock  would be a lynch pin connected to former to the future. Understated buildings like this have no statutory protection – there is nothing planners can do to stop them being demolished –  but when they are integrated into a new development tend to anchor the new builds to the setting.

Old buildings are a finite resource, and a building like this, although presently considered of no value, would one day be priceless.


Burnt out mill building

A fire damaged portion of a mill complex is to be demolished following recommendation from a structural engineer.

This has occurred a number of times in West Yorkshire – the new Aldi site in Slaithwaite, and Ebor MIlls in Keighley come to mind – and its a bit of a trump card in clearing a brownfield site. Understandably if the building is a hazard it has to be mitigated, but im often sceptical as to weather the stone work is truly compromised by fire damage.

brown royd mill

The taller building and tower in the image above are set to be demolished.

We are going to lose another spectacular mill to these terms. 3 or 4 a year and Yorkshire will have lost them all. They are esoteric, quirky and old, but they are so important to our history. As the Colosseum in Rome was plundered for stone, we also do not yet see the value of these monuments to our pre-eminent age of prosperity.

Bradford again, again

Bradford development control have some difficult decisions to make over the next few weeks. More and more threats to heritage poor in.

A unique property in Ilkley is to be demolished to make way for a conceptual arc. The concentration of pitched roofs and the piecemeal growth of the building shall be missed.

Burnley in wharfdale 3

Burnley in wharfdale

Burnley in wharfdale 2

The architecture proposed is in my opinion very exciting and deserves a place somewhere in the British landscape, but why must we lose the original building as well?

The planning statement derides the design quality of the existing building, suggesting that the new build would be more congruous with the surrounds. Lets call a spade a space; the new building would be anathema to the local vernacular. Planning statements are increasingly hot air spoken on behalf of the highest bidder.