Demolition of Springwood House in Elland:
The expansion of neighboring Overgate Hospice involves the destruction of this Victorian house to extend car parking facilities on site.
A handsome building in the increasingly harried town of Elland, the loss of this building will be a great shame to the town. Buildings such as this remind the people of Elland and other such small towns in West Yorkshire that they have a prosperous and proud history, in spite of current economic circumstances.
Earlier iterations of the plans showed the building adapted to become a cafe, which would no doubt complement the adjacent cricket ground. Yet as is often the case, when the planning process plays out over a number of years, aspects of betterment or planning gain as lost to ensure ‘viability.’
Retrospective permission to flatten Wibsey Park Lodge in Bradford:
Disgraceful practice by Mr N Rahim. Nobody in the development industry is unaware that demolition requires planning permission. Yet he went ahead and cleared this beautiful and historic park lodge. Mr Rahim weighed up his choices, and knowing the council will only give him a cursory slap on the wrist, he can now go on and make his money from 4 detached houses without the need for an expensive and protracted development control process.
A delightful building with a tall red brick chimney contrasting with the slate and stone of the house. Victorian Parks need their lodges to make sense of their history. If only the council would enforce their legislation and make him rebuild it brick by brick. Set and example. At the very least, I dare Bradford Council to refuse permission for the development of the site.
As it turns out however, the building was sold to Mr Rahim by Bradford Council in the first instance. Interesting. I hope everyone is reading between those very obvious lines and arriving at the same conclusions I have.
Application to demolish a wing of Holme House, and the development of 8 dwellings:
A very handsome building that is robust and has offers enough utility to avoid unnecessary demolition. Sadly the M62 corridor housing market being as bullish as it is, eight 3-4 bed houses presumably offers a slightly higher return on investment. And even if that is not the case, some off the shelf housing types positioned here are much easier for an agent to market, and easier for an accountant to model into a business projection.
Heritage, as a positive economic externality has still yet to be somehow captured in our planning/economic system. I think it is time to explore the sustainability discourse; why not lets start making policies that allow demolitions such as this to be refused on the grounds of destroying the embodied energy they contain. Redeveloping this site would result in infinitely higher carbon emissions that the repurposing of the building for a similar use.
Demolition of a cottage near Dewsbury:
Such an elegant cottage in the heart of the of the Heavy Woollen District. When school children draw a house, this is what they think of.
An impressive 4 to 1 replacement ratio is planned for this site. Quite a bold application, and would naturally the loss of this very handsome building that is unmistakably English and even identifiable as West Yorkshire stock such is this window into the pre-globalised world. The patina that darkens up the elevation is perfection, as are the weathered harris’ of each stone roof tile.
Somehow Victorian stone cottages meet a grass lawn in way architects have yet to reproduce. Lets hope we keep a few dotted around. Make the right decision Kirklees, please.
Post War Pre-fabricated ‘Airey’ housing estate to be replaced:
A concrete column parallel universe – how odd to see what appears to be the ubiquitous hipped roof council estate semi, transposed into pebble dashed concrete.
Some would argue that these buildings have been left standing for too long. Indeed they were only meant to serve their purpose for a decade or two, but alas these buildings have endured, and in a corner of rural South Leeds a relic to post-war utilitarian house building can be seen. Much like Anderson shelters or Bletchley Park, I find this place to be a monument to the generation that gave up so much to get through the second world war.
Presumably if they could survive another 50 years, then heritage status would be bestowed upon these houses, but for now they are still seen as an eyesore and no doubt a health and safety liability.
Albion House in Apperly Bridge, Bradford to be demolished and replaced with 8 dwellings:
A Victorian villa that represents an important part of this formerly rural cluster of buildings, its loss will be damaging to the historic narrative of this area, which is still redolent of Victorian culture.
The terraces, cottages, farm building and villas juxtaposed in this way tell us a story about pre-globalised life in rural Bradford.
And surely the onus isn’t on the reasoning for keeping the building up, but for knocking it down? If it is robust and fit for purpose, it makes no sense ecologically to destroy buildings.
Mill building to be demolished in small Calderdale hill village:
Very important piece of heritage for this small village on top of the moors to the East of Halifax.
From an urban design perspective, the building is vital to the village centre, providing a strong building line on the edge of the village green feature.
From a conservation point of view, village mills like this are fascinating, because they are often the sole example of heavy industry in the settlement, providing an economic base for the rest of the village to thrive.
The buildings are all robust and are in use, and could achieve a fantastic market value. Sadly, for some unknown reason, the market is signalling for more semi detached dull stock fit for new families in the countryside.
There is an irony in despoiling the beauty and history of villages, on which elevated market desirability for these semis is predicated.