Archive | December 2015

Former high street in Huddersfield

Plans to demolish the last remnants of the Victorian High Street in Mold Green, Huddersfield:

Mold green high street

Wakefield road in mold green

So many times I have driven past this row of buildings, concerned by the portent of boarded up windows and council issued safety signs. There was a time when this part of Huddersfield was Victorian, and the streets were defined by the buildings that fronted them. Then slowly they were demolished to be replaced by car park walls, shrubbed verges, and budget supermarkets. In no time at all the place became formless. This row is the last vestige of traditional urban culture on the road, and its presence helps us to remember how this area once thrived with pedestrians, before it became an arterial road. Sadly the buildings are council owned, and so planning permission is but a formality. Should anyone from Kirklees read this, please reconsider – the housing crisis, the environmental crisis, and the need for identity in northern towns, belies all reasons for demolition. Think on.


Pub in Baildon to make way for flats

Application to needlessly demolish The Little Blue Orange public house to make way for a plot for 6 houses and 9 apartments:

blue orange pub

Surely it can be justified that a pub/restaurant in this location is sustainable?

A perfectly robust building that could be used in a number of commercial incarnations, or at worst, converted to very attractive housing, is to be flattened. Pubs have huge car parks, which  make such premises easy options to bolster profits when under the cross-hairs of the annual asset audit at a major brewer.

It is a major flaw in the development industry, and is the fault of the planning consultant that hastily fails to consider whether extant buildings are viable for retention. The private consultant works with red line plans only, seeing only hectares and minimum dwelling densities.






Cross Church Street, Huddersfield

Application to extend the Kingsgate centre involving the demolition of part of the historic street front of Cross Church Street:

Cross Church Street

Although not an ornate building, this is an example of a wider context that will be diminished by a development. This street is an in tact albeit rough Victorian Street, with yards tailing off every now and then. Somehow the entire street has survived bombings, redevelopment, and depressions, and it would be a shame for the extension of the Kingsgate Centre to truncate this survival. Strangely enough, the buildings would make way for a cinema. Town centre cinemas were a thing of the past I was told. Lets hoe this indicates something of an urban renaissance.

And while I’m at it, I wish the developer would think more about the frontage they are proposing for Venn Street. This development could actually forge a new quarter in Huddersfield with just a bit of architectural innovation applied.