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St Marys School, Batley

Old School Buildings to be demolished in Batley:

https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/planning-applications/search-for-planning-applications/detail.aspx?id=2018/92555

Related image

Image result for st marys school batley building

The school building annexes to a grade II listed church and a  second convent building is also part of the application and appears to be an attractive well ordered house.

An indicative scheme for residential conversion was prepared when marketing the property, so retaining and reusing the buildings is viable, and would offer a much better setting for the listed asset.

The embedded carbon in the buildings must be very high, and it would be a shame to see it all gone to waste as the site is cleared. Sadly this is still not a consideration in planning decisions.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the mantra attached to the use of plastics. Why not for buildings too?

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Wapping School, Bradford

Derelict school to be demolished in Bradford:

https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=P6M1QDDHLDY00&activeTab=summary

Photo: Telegraph and Argus

Although grade II listed, this 1877 building is in ruin and will be demolished to make way for a new college. At this stage it is understandable that the building is beyond salvage, and having become a node for antisocial behaviour, will be cleared. The developer (LIFE Church) has made attempts to salvage some of the stone work and one of the gable ends of the building, but in reality the essence of the Victorian School will be gone.

The building should have never been allowed to fall into this state, and we need to look for innovative solutions for the reuse of our more nuanced Victorian heritage assets. Schools, mills, churches, and pubs are all problematic in re-purposing, yet there are heritage champions out there that need to be facilitated by local authorities to invest and develop such buildings.

The massing promises to reflect the existing building, but this will only result in a pastiche development. This development being an educational facility I imagine a process of value engineering will negate any attempts to be sensitive with building materials. There is no way around it – this is another beautiful Victorian school lost to history.

Clocktower, Lockwood, Huddersfield

Application to demolish the clocktower at the former Mount Pleasant School:

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/planning-applications/search-for-planning-applications/detail.aspx?id=2017%2f94351

Image result for mount pleasant clock tower lockwood

The school was redeveloped following the demolition of the Victorian school building (the powers that be unable to differentiate between shoddy facilities and dilapidated interior, and an important robust vernacular building).

Yet Kirklees have slyly slipped this application in a few days before Christmas. No one will notice that right? Yes, absolutely we will notice.

The tower was initially thought to be saved after a hard fought campaign. However the building was rejected from listing status due to the incomplete nature of the site, however historic England recommended a local listing. I doubt such a mechanism actually exists in Lockwood.

Old Westgate Redoubt building, Snapethorpe

Plans by the council to demolish an outbuilding of Snapethorpe Primary School:

https://planning.wakefield.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OBC9V2QQKBU00

Snapethorpe Primary school.JPG

Forgive the terrible photo from Google Earth’s Streetview archives circa 2012.

Some local objection to this proposal that coherently cites the councils own policy:

http://savelupsetgreenfields.homeip.net/node/544

Death, Taxes, and local authorities not adhering to their own policies are the only certainties in life.

A handsome building that will be a loss to the visual fabric of the area. Not worthy of listing, never the less it is the kind of building I dream of inheriting from a long lost uncle and spending the rest of my life as custodian.

Incidentally, the argument that a building has to be demolished because it has been “regularly targeted by vandals and trespasser’s” is an old and hackneyed cliche in the planning consultant’s armory. Misdemeanors do not necessitate flattening the site and starting over.

Christ Church Primary Academy

Demolition of a school building in Shipley:

https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=map&keyVal=O8GHAFDH0IM00

Old school building Shipley.JPG

Demolition does not require full planning permission, but rather a demolition notice, so this has been progressed with alacrity.

A nice looking building that looks to be in good condition, but as the officers report suggests, way off English Heritage’s radar.

The centralized position on the site would make any redevelopment difficult should someone want to capitalise on the full footprint, and as such there was no chance conservation would have been contemplated.

The rest of the school will presumably stay open.

At this point, as the people tell me I am an overly zealous heritage obsessive, I remind them that this type of building can NEVER be built again.

Former Mechanics Institute, Keighley

Another loss to the town centre fabric of Keighley:

Currently used as part of Leeds College, the building is to be levelled to form a car park.

https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?previousCaseType=Property&previousKeyVal=LELNF7DH00200&activeTab=summary&previousCaseUprn=100051942909&previousCaseNumber=000M5MDHBU000&keyVal=O2P7AODHI0R00

 

keighley mech institute.jpg

Mechanics institutes are a mysterious thing of the past. You see the words embossed in stone on a building now occupied by Weatherspoons, somewhere in most industrial northern towns.

Nothing embodies the civic aspiration of the Victorians more than these institutions, and for that reason alone they are culturally indispensable. Rome had the agora, the Victorians had mechanics institutes.

We simply can not knock these temples down. Even the heritage statement (which was commissioned to support the demolition of this building) agrees.

Keighley loses beautiful buildings often. Warehouse shaped piles of rubble are found throughout. It is a town that struggles with identity, but until now has somehow retained a town centre that is a lot grander than its contemporary economic situation would attest.

The fact that at some point we were willing to develop diminutive small towns to the aesthetic standards of classical cities says a lot about our erstwhile civic pride.

We can’t let the last vestiges of local history in towns like Keighley be torn down for car parking space. Half of the original building was lost to fire some time ago. It was lucky the other half survived until now. Bradford council, please intercede.

 

 

Oakbank School, Keighley

Another old school building to be demolished in Ingrow, Keighley:

http://www.planning4bradford.com/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=NWKSI0DHLT000

The school itself was constructed in 1963,  however in the core of this asbestos/plywood complex is an impressive Manor House known as Haggas Hall.

Haggas Hall

This image taken in 1963 (thanks to David Kirkley of Keighley Schools Heritage) shows the building in all its manorial glory. Sadly not spectacular enough for Bradford Council to consider intervention, this is yet another historic building to be lost during the current wave of school rebuilding.

Of course it is fantastic that funding is going into building new education facilities for our young people, but there does seem to be a culture of scorched earth redevelopment, rather than the existing sites being analysed as the composites of buildings they are.

Its somewhat lazy, and the new school will lose some capital derived from having a historic ‘core’ building as a centre piece. By all means get rid of the prefabricated periphery, but retain the sturdy stone nucleus.