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Willerby Manor Hotel, Hull

A converted 19th-century mansion house, now a Best Western hotel, is to be flattened for 50 homes:

Entire Contents of Willerby Manor Hotel and Health Club - Eddisons

This proposal comes much to the chagrin of local residents who have overwhelmingly objected to the idea. The original mansion is still visible behind the later additions, and a detailed history of the property is available here courtesy of research by Margaret McGlashan.

The hotel closed during the Covid-19 pandemic and did not reopen. I suppose the owners realised housing was the way to go. So this Victorian Manor, possibly the historic seat of Willerby, will be lost because of the lockdown. That’s important. We will slowly see this happen more as large property owners apply the guillotine to the risky elements of their portfolios. This is what happens when ownership is not local.

The historic map above shows the original manor house in isolation before it was consumed by the hotel complex. The distance between the village and the house on the maps provides so much narrative of the social history of East Yorkshire. When it’s not there anymore, neither is Willerby’s story.

Houses in the open countryside

I have come across various rural houses/ex farms that have gone into the planing system for demolition this month. Some of these buildings appear to be truly ancient.

The pair of cottages in Raskelf (one of my fabourite place names) above are set to be replaced with a pair of equally sized and sited deatched houses. A pointless carbon intensive excercise. Why would any Council in the land be ok with that? This farm is being sold off piecemeal via various lots at auction. This could be a new village. Historically, thats how settlements all started.

The converted barn above near Kirby Malzead is due to be replaced with a chimneyless bungalow. Buildings in the open countryside are a componant of the landscape and in this particular case, visible from huge distances. Very sad that no objection from the Parish or any local group has been made.

This beautiful farm house just outside Slathwaite will be demolished and replaced with a new build, which it has to be said is a very sensitive design. Lets hope the planners condition the reuse of materials.

South Bank buildings, Leeds

Application to demolish some of the last buildings on Crown Point Road, Leeds:

It looks like the decade of scaffolding erected to preserve this building until some heritage funding could be found, was in vain after all. About 4 buildings can be found along Crown Street, that are currently constitute the cultural lynchpin of the recently branded ‘South Bank’. The scarcity of the heritage here means those bricks are worth their weight in gold. The map above shows how dense the urban tissue of the area used to be – now generally in use as a series of surface car parks.

Crown Point Road, Derelict houses
Image from Leodis

Those that don’t know Leeds’ Southbank will wonder what merit there would be in hanging on to these dilapidated buildings. When you consider the entirety of Victorian Leeds south of the River Aire has all but been lost, every last vestige of the industrial past needs to be retained to anchor the space within some historical context. The developer, Vastint (which is actually Ikea) should be aware of the irreplaceable value this adds to development. If the regeneration of the south bank takes place upon a tabula rasa, then it isn’t really regeneration. Its a boring new town.

The building is modest, however it does demonstrate some interesting features, with a hinged front elevation, and stone detailing that makes for an attractive urban building. I don’t know much about the building, and would be curious to know if any readers out there know its previous use, or of previous plans to regenerate it.

Cottage in Central Ripon

Small cottage cum workshop to be replaced with three townhouses:

To be lost is a sweet old building occupying the rear of a burgage plot in the middle of Ripon.

Most would agree that it isn’t really worth a mention, it being a rugged simple brick and beam build. But look closer, and you can spot the nuance that won’t be present it its successor; the roof pitch doesn’t match the adjacent building; the brick is the same as that of the boundary wall; the entrance seems to be neither of the ground floor or first floor.

But from the Architects drafting I’m confident it will be tastefully replaced. Indeed, three new residential addresses down this side street could really breath life into this corner of the city. Still, it will be a long time before we have a new old building here to catch our curious eyes.

Hollycroft, Ilkley

Edwardian villa threatened with demolition in Ilkley:

Holly Croft, Residential Care Home now Closed

A beautiful suburban Edwardian house that has been used until recently as a care home is threatened with demolition following acquisition by Barchester Healthcare Ltd. Although not listed, the building is within a conservation area, an as such this should be grounds for refusal on the harm that would result from its loss. Indeed even the heritage statement acknowledged that ‘ipso facto’ the building is a designated heritage asset.

Pre-application advice from the case officer at Bradford Council stated that the principle of the development is acceptable, effectively giving the go-ahead to the developer before the application has entered the public domain and the democratic due process.

Nonetheless it is reassuring to see the barrage of public comments objecting to this proposal, including objections from Ilkley Town Council who rightly point out that allowing demolition on the grounds that a building is in disrepair effectively rewards owners for neglecting heritage.

After so much opposition, it would be a shock to see this one get permission.

End terrace cottage, Meltham

Notice of demolition of a small end terrace dwellingin Meltham, Huddersfield:

Not sure why the owner is wanting to destroy this building in a conservation area. The planning statement suggests they will use the space as a garden, but I’m not convinced. The applicant also acknowledges that the removal of the building will leave an unweathered gable end that will require work. This alone would be enough to despoil the conservation area, which is otherwise a pristine townscape of Victorian stone built stock – I’m surprised this street isn’t used for filming.

The neighbouring terrace is grade 2 listed. Hopefully the planning officer has the fore site to see the harm this would do to the setting of this protected building.

Cottage in Stean village, near Harrogate

Stunning vernacular rural cottage to lost in the hamlet of Stean:

Stean is about as perfect a Yorkshire hamlet as you will find. And being a hamlet, the loss of a 9 bedroom cottage in the centre is a significant portion of the historic building stock.

Stean cottage, clearly is fundamental to the hamlet, as it bears its name. I can’t imagine what there is to gain from replacing a 9 bedroom dwelling however, the MET is likely to be outdated and the design and access statement suggests issues with damp.

The applicant assures that the replacement will recycle the existing materials, and insist that ‘any visitor will think it has been there forever’

Clough House, Birstall

Application to demolish two Georgian buildings in Kirklees for 30 new houses:

Top: front elevation of Clough House. Lower: Outbuilding to the rear

Cough House built in 1799 should be afforded statutory protection. I quote English Heritage; ‘all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are likely to be listed, as are most buildings built between 1700 and 1850.’

This should be a relatively simple planning dialogue between Kirkless and the developer. Yes, go ahead and develop the site, but only in a way that preserves the historic buildings, and as per local policy, enhances the setting.

If this is not done, then Kirklees’ own policies have been flouted.

As expected the heritage statement commissioned by the developer supports the demolition of the buildings, as they are not as ornate as some of the other mill owners’ villas of the same period. He goes on to state that the new housing quantum is worth the loss of the building.

You can almost certainly have both. The developer as per usual is just demanding a carte blanche site to get stuck into. This is not good planning. I urge you to object.

House at Cliffe, Selby

Rural cottage to be replced with three hosues:

Charming Ivy clad cottage to come down just to teh East of Selby in Cliffe village. Its the nuances that are abscent from new builds that initially piqued my interest in heritage. The above, for example, has a boundary wall that attaches to the gable wall. This sort of feature will be abscent from the replacement, but in design terms, marries the building to its environment.

Hopefully the ivy will grow back over the three hosues that replace this bulding.

Cottages in East Yorkshire

Three rural cottages to be lost in The East Riding:

The Old Post Office, Hotham
Ivy Cottage, Rudston
West View, Station Road, Holm-on-Spalding-Moor

All three of which are a shame to lose it goes without saying, particularly as they are all fit for purpose. The Old Post office is in fact being encorporated into the neighbouring house, so the local authority will actually lose a dwelling.

The replacement housing comes straight out of the architects pattern book, to wit, three unique buildings will be gone forever.