Archive | Uncategorized RSS for this section

Parade of shops, Burley,

Plans to demolish three shops to make way for a student residential tower in Burley, just outside central Leeds:

Not much of old Leeds remains in this part of the city. Once a patchwork of dense back to backs, with a tramway circumnavigating the area, this part of Burley is slowly transforming from a nowhere belt on the periphery of the city centre into a student village.

The buildings are to be demolished to make way for the tower below. Quite a level of densification, which will further the repopulation of the area. Reluctantly the loss of Victorian Leeds is outweighed by the regenerative benefits in this instance.

The buildings are simple, and atypical of the era with painting facia boards and large eaves overhangs. One aspect of the site that would be a lamentable loss is the erasure of Back Burley Street, which is still paved with the original stone sets. Maybe the developer would have integrated the street into the ground floor. A bit of innovation like that would serve to give the building a real identity, and an appealing commercial pull on the ground floor.


200 houses in Dewsbury

The town of Dewsbury barely has a high street anymore. A beautiful industrial town is still somewhat visible beneath bookmakers and takeaways. he centre of Dewsbury desperately needs to be repopulated by both people and money. Why then would anyone allow for 200 houses to be built on greenfields away from the centre, next to a pristine A-road that is the fastest route out of town?



Its just houses, lots of houses, not a place, and doesn’t acknowledge Dewsbury. Just houses and targets and spreadsheets and yields.

Not an urban culture, and not a rural culture. Middle England likes to sit on the fence, assuming to reap the best of both, yet commits to neither, resulting in dependence on Netflix for culture.


700 house village simulation

Permission for 700 houses to be built onto Scholes village to the north east of Leeds is being saught here:


This is really pushing the envelope of the commuter radius into Leeds city center. 700 houses, at least 700 cars, 2 journeys per day as a ¬†minimum. The argument against permission on ecological grounds alone is enough. Scholes already being a suburb of itself sets a precedent, meaning permission will almost certainly be granted. This will in turn set a precedent for any other developer who wishes to lay waste to some farm land in the Leeds hinterland at this outlying radius. When all the farmland is gone, we will move further into the countryside, justified by ‘housing shortage’. It is a ruinous cycle.

700 dwellings could do amazing things to the business and society of urban Leeds. What a wasted opportunity.

We’re building again

The economy is picking up. We’re building again. But I’m worried the wrong people are going to build the wrong buildings, in the wrong places.

We have a housing crisis, that we can not deny, but this is not an excuse for an open season for volume house builders to forego considerations of community, environment and history.

Over the next few years, we are going to lose much of our environmental and cultural heritage to the bulldozers of housebuilders. I intend to do all I can to mitigate against this suburbanisation, and this plight begins here. I aim to detail every profligate proposal that will undermine our built environment and the values of an urban renaissance.

This is not for the Nimbys. This is about insisting those who plan and build are more innovative and listen to the communities which they serve.