The sad demise of the Flouch Inn –
Demolition of this pub has been on the cards for a while now. Oout in the Wilderness of the Pennines, the Flouch is called so because its former name of The Plough became weathered and Plough Became Flouch with the loss of a serif or two.
The demolition will make way for houses; an entirely unsustainable location, and the canabalisation of what could be a great pub as part of the chain of cyclist stops found in this area.
Also being demolished is
Silkstone Working Men’s Club –
Not so pretty…but still a meaningful building
Robust stone industrial mills and pond to make way for a Lidl:
A large amount of Victorian industrial building stock is to be lost for the expansion of Lidl’s empire.
A thesis could be written about the insidious colonisation of deprived areas by Lidl. Bad for health, the economy, culture, and the environment. Not wanting to digressing into sociological territory, I will try to summarise why this is a crime against conservation.
The mills of Bradford are being lost at an alarming rate, with the local authority not seeing the value (and being powerless) in retaining humble buildings such as Union Mills. What these buildings add to the local landscape is invaluable; punctuating the rolling countryside with implications of former industrial prowess. We diminish the essence of a place when we remove its history.
Particularly objectionable is the infill of the mill pond. Blue infrastructure is normally celebrated and protected. Not only for its value in biodiversity, but for the public who enjoy it as a destination for walking and angling.
The existing buildings function perfectly well. They are adaptable, and can be used for a variety of industries looking for different sizes of space. They provide economic opportunities that are vital for small businesses in the area.
The buildings that will replace them do not have these qualities. Lidl could very easily retrofit the existing complex for their purposes, but their rudimentary economic models can not integrate such innovative strategies into their expansionist masterplan. Cleared sites only please. And no architects. Shame on you Lidl.
Application to demolish the Highland Pub, just off Burley Street, Leeds
Its been a few months since there has been any imminent threat to a historically important building in West Yorkshire, but a sad return to business as usual comes in the form of the proposed demolition of The Highland, to be replaced by 14 flats.
The pub is still thriving and has by various accounts undergone something of a renaissance lately.
A curious building that has survived the comprehensive demolition of this area to find itself bravely ensconced as a wedge between the high rises and the concrete monoliths of central Leeds. Stone setts still surround the building making this oasis look like a fissure in space-time.
Such a narrow plot shouldn’t be viable for development – only suitable for a Victorian pub, yet somehow it has caught the attention of a speculator. Couldn’t you develop the surface car park 5m to the right?
This highlights yet again a flaw in the planning system; no conservation area or listing status means that the council’s hands are tied. The only reprieve would be to deny permission on other grounds relating to design and hope the owner backs down and keeps the pub serving. Apparently its great in there. Check it out before it is no more.
Application to destroy an important complex of small mills in Kirklees:
These three story stone edifices provide an important aspect to the narrative of a Yorkshire village, protruding above the roof pitches of the surrounding terraces and cottages of the village, indicating the close relationship between industry and domestic life. To lose buildings as vital as this to the Yorkshrie townscape (not to mention buildings that are perfectly robust) is a crime.
There is no other reason for this that to allow the developer to build and sell ‘products’ that are homogenous and can fit into their capital program.
Please Kirkleses, intervene, and start saving your beautiful historic villages! There are not that many left now.
Above is the suggested layout. I am absolutely certain this will have been devised at a desk by a technician with no other remit for design other than ‘as many units can you get on there please mate’.
Future generations will one day ask why we made this country so boring.
Small Methodist church to be demolished in the centre of East Ardsley:
A village already stripped bare of much of its history, particularly along the high street, the purge will continue with the loss of this modest but vital Methodist church.
It is not about the merits of the individual building, but what the building embodies – clearly not much capital was available from the Wesleyans, but nonetheless the built a temple in this small industrial village.
The built form that constitutes the centre of a settlement is so vital to a sense of place. We can not judge buildings by their individual merit, but by what they contribute to the overall street form. Planning mechanisms that protect this are scarce and seldom called upon.
Derelict pub in Armley Conservation area:
Not much of the old Armley left sadly, and it looks like another piece of the past will be lost as light industry expands in this part of deprived Leeds. The gentrification of Armley that was widely predicted never really happened, leaving the old stock under appreciated. A few hundred hipsters could have kept these doors open I’m sure. Gentrification can help in small doses
Former Crimea Tavern pub in Castleford to be demolished for flats:
Once more, the loss of a derelict pub is justified by a supposed lack of architectural merit. Conservation officers at Wakefield would not have any grounding to justify an intervention in this case. Even if they wanted to.
This is sad. We need to recognise that it is not just the architectural treatment of the elevation, or the quality of the architectural vocabulary that make a building important.
It is the massing, its relationship with the street, and the proportionality of the elevation that are of historic value – characteristics which are not acknowledged in any replacement. This is clearly stated in every policy going; national, district, local.
Thus another pocket of Yorkshire loses its final piece of a once populated high street.