CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
There have been a number of initiatives to report on especially, I am
pleased to say, regarding consultation between Kirklees officers, myself and colleagues on the Executive Committee about developing projects within the Town Centre Blueprint area. Some of these have since been posted on the HCS website (www.huddersfieldcivicsociety.org.uk) but I’ll briefly summarise some of these consultations as well as other news.
Huddersfield Cultural Heart
Kirklees has commissioned two very experienced consultants to look anew at proposals covering the piazza, library/art gallery, Queensgate Market and related areas including the Town Hall and LBT.
A recent meeting with consultant IPW which has an extensive portfolio in advising on the development of stadia, music and cultural venues, provided us with an opportunity to input into their early thoughts.
Topics covered ranged from replacement of car parking facilities, improvements and possible extension to library/art gallery to provide improved visitor access and facilities, especially to the gallery, future use of market incorporating possible music venue (not of arena proportions), museum/display facilities (to compliment Tolson Museum) and children’s play facilities.
Street Improvement Programme
A meeting with highway and regeneration officers provided an update to future phases of street improvements, including New Street, Dundas Street and Macaulay Steet and, more recently, proposals for the Station Gateway, primarily Northumberland Street and John William Street. The latter proposals have now been put out for public consultation (see HCS website for details).
Work carried out to date has been of a high quality though we have queried some of the details regarding New Street, especially the sculptural pillars for climbing plants which HCS had previously raised objections to, particularly relating to future maintenance and revenue costs.
We also highlighted the poor level of upkeep and cleanliness of litter bins, utility boxes and other street furniture, in contrast to the overall standard of paving materials and the need for a clear policy for waste and disposal facilities given the increase in residential conversion proposals in the town centre.
Earlier in the week myself, Martin Kilburn and Sylvia Johnson had an equally useful meeting with Nigel Hunston, Kirklees Council’s Team Leader (Town Centre Conservation & Design). Nigel provided an insight into preparatory work to look at the future of this Grade 2 listed building and its immediate surrounds.
It was gratifying to know that Kirklees is working with two architectural practises with extensive experience in both reviving markets, including Leeds and Preston markets, and in projects which recognise the importance of preserving and enhancing the heritage elements of the building.
The meetings above demonstrate that, as a society, we are fortunate in participating at an early stage in the evolution of these projects. We may not always achieve all the suggestions we make but thank those officers who recognise the positive input that HCS can offer.
The last walk of the season on Sunday, October 24, is now fully booked. It indicates the popularity of these walks which this year were promoted through Eventbrite and limited to around 20 people.
The Discover Huddersfield team is now looking towards 2022 and the hope of working more closely with the Huddersfield BID (Business Improvement District) manager Sam Sharp.
Two new trail leaflets are in production – Textile Heritage and Limelight and Greasepaint Act 1, the latter written by the late Brian Haigh, vice-chair of Huddersfield Local History Society. These should be available by Christmas.
As mentioned in my last update you can also follow the trails or views them from the comfort of home by visiting the new web app: https://huddersfield.onfoot.guide/
Transpennine Rail Improvements
As mentioned previously, colleague Geoff Hughes has been working closely with Huddersfield Unlimited (HU) ahead of the public enquiry in November.
The HU/HCS Transport Group’s submission to the forthcoming public enquiry, scheduled at the Stadium from November 2 to about December 10 has now been submitted. It is effectively a reworking of July’s ‘Statement of Case’ recast as an oral statement, formally called a ‘Proof of Evidence’.
By Friday, October 29, we aim to make our formal request to take the Enquiry Inspector on a walk to show our points in person. In the meantime, HCS/HU’s goal is to catalyse constructive working between Network Rail, Kirklees Council and HD1, the owner of the railway warehouse.
There would be huge advantages in the three bodies working together on a formal basis. HCS/HU is also closely coordinating with Kirklees Cycling on station access issues, the Chair of which, Chas Ball, is also an HCS trustee.
Design Awards 2021
The time of year has come when I’d ask all our members to keep their eyes open for any project that they feel deserves to be nominated in the HCS annual Design Awards. You can find details of how to nominate projects on the HCS website (see news item below or go to the Design Awards page).
The closing date for nominations is December 31, 2021 for the following categories: Best New Build, Best Shop Front, Best Refurbishment, Best Residential Development, Best Commercial Development and Best Community Project.
There is no restriction on the number of nominations you enter and we are keen to help raise the profile of projects that have contributed to Huddersfield’s heritage and built environment.
Memories of our Square
A special website celebrating the history of St George’s Square is now up and running and people are urged to add their own memories to it ... and they could also feature in a book. Huddersfield Local History Society’s website Our Square (https://oursquare.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk/) is building up a history of the square, including photos.
For more information about the project see the HCS website ‘News’, email: email@example.com, or visit the Memories of Our Square Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3063308933946811
Comments have recently been submitted objecting to a proposal at King James’ School, Almondbury, to discharge a condition for the use of natural York stone facings on a proposed development which received permission some months ago. The building lies within Almondbury Conservation Area and within the curtilage of a listed building.
We feel that it is vital that Kirklees sets high standards for its own developments and this attempt to use artificial stone as a substitute undermines the council’s own policy ‘to preserve and enhance the quality and character of a conservation area.’
Submissions regarding other planning applications can be found on the HCS website.
Thursday, November 25 at 7pm: Professor Peter Roberts: Kirklees Climate Commission.
Peter was recently appointed chair of Kirklees Climate Commission and is Professor Emeritus of Sustainable Spatial Development at the School of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds.
Professor Roberts has vast experience of housing and regeneration, including the Board of the Housing Executive, the NHS Confederation Sustainable Development Group (Co-chair) and the Academy for Sustainable Communities (Chair).
His research and knowledge of climate change and the issues facing local authorities will provide the perfect forum for understanding what is undoubtably the most important issue facing our future.
Further details on venue and booking will be circulated soon.
From January 2022 membership subscriptions will be increasing from £10 for individual members and £25 for Corporate Members to £12.50 and £30 respectively. In checking with HCS Treasurer Michael Barron when subs were last increased he revealed it was in 2008!
Our costs have, unsurprisingly, increased since then, including payment for speakers, hall hire, membership of regional and national civic bodies, Design Award trophies, management of the HCS web site etc.
I hope this small increase will not come as a shock and hope that, not only will we be able to maintain our current membership levels but, in the next year, attract new individual and corporate members at a time when so much about the town is changing and our input, as you can read above, is having a direct influence on the shape of things to come.
Members will be formally contacted about these increases in coming weeks.
That’s all for now.
It’s the time of year when we invite Huddersfield Civic Society members and the general public to nominate their favourite buildings in our annual Design Awards.
Established in 2012, these prestigious awards have been presented to the very best developments within Huddersfield that have been completed over the past couple of years.
Nominations for the 2020 awards were perhaps limited by a slowing of new development and restoration projects as a result of the pandemic and other factors.
However, we received a range of outstanding projects, including two projects involving local community groups, namely friends of Greenhead Park (Examiner Readers’ Award) and Windrush Garden, Springwood, planned by the Developing African Caribbean Communities group.
The outright winner’s trophy was presented to the University of Huddersfield for its conversion of the former Broadbent’s Bath House, now the Sovereign Design House and Toast House Café at the University of Huddersfield, designed by AHR architects.
Between now and the end of December we hope you will be on the lookout for exemplar projects within the following categories: Best New Build, Best Shop Front, Best Refurbishment, Best Residential Development, Best Commercial Development and Best Community Project.
There is no restriction on the number of nominations you enter and these can easily be submitted to the society by completing a simple form on our website or emailing us the relevant details (see below).
In addition, HCS will again be teaming up with the Huddersfield Examiner so its readers have a chance to vote for the development which they feel has contributed most towards helping improve the quality and image of the town.
Nominated buildings should fall within the former Huddersfield borough boundary, that is between Outlane and Fixby in the north, Berry Brow and Almondbury in the south, Milnsbridge in the west and Cooper Bridge and Waterloo in the east. Projects must have been completed between July 1, 2019 and December 31, 2021.
Members have until the December 31 2021 to submit their choices. From nominations submitted, judges will choose the winners from each category. The winners will be presented with specially designed slate trophies with an additional trophy awarded to the outright winner in springtime 2022 (the presentation event will be dependent on the situation regarding Covid-19).
Consideration will be given to the following in determining the winning categories:
Quality of design and materials
Appropriateness to street setting and adjacent property
Contribution to environmental sustainability
Quality of landscaping
Contribution to community enhancement
Not only will the awards raise the profile of Huddersfield Civic Society but of the town itself, something that we, as Members of the Society, the Examiner and all its readers are keen to do. We also hope that category winners will be submitted for consideration in the national design awards organised by Civic Voice.
Keep your eyes open for projects that have contributed to Huddersfield’s built environment and let us help raise the profile of those who developed and designed them.
We look forward to receiving your nominations.
Simply download the attached form, fill it in on screen and email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org
People have been urged to have their say on a major improvement scheme involving Huddersfield Railway Station and its surrounding area such as John William Street, Northumberland Street and Trinity Street.
The detailed proposals for the scheme called Huddersfield Rail Station Connections can be read by clicking here.
Huddersfield Civic Society will be formulating a response to the proposals but would also like to hear what HCS members and members of the public think so please email your thoughts to us at email@example.com
The project is a joint venture between Kirklees Council, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and their partners and aims to make it easier for everyone to make their way between the railway station and the places where they live, learn, work or visit in Huddersfield town centre.
It’s being funded by the Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund, a major new programme of investment to improve access to public transport, cycling and walking while helping to reduce car journeys and tackle the climate emergency.
The public consultation is now live and will be open for 4 weeks until Monday, November 8.
You can view the proposals, read supporting information and have your say by completing the consultation survey here https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/hudds-access
Autumn is now with us, nature may be slowing down but your Executive Committee certainly isn’t and there is plenty for me to update you on.
Heritage Open Days, Discover Huddersfield and a New Web App.
I hope many of you managed to attend or participate in one or more of the 59 venues and events within this year’s Heritage Open Days programme. The talk by Sheila Binns, organised in partnership with Huddersfield Local History Society, about architect W H Crossland, was attended by more than 70 people and the five Discover Huddersfield Walks attracted maximum numbers, helped by sunny weather.
The last walk of the Discover Huddersfield 2021 season will be on:
Sunday, October 24 at 2.30pm and is called Surprising Lockwood - From Elegant Spa to an Industrial Hub
Meet at the Water Street Car Park, Lockwood, HD4 6EJ (adjacent to Grappolo Restaurant).
Join Ian Stevenson on a circular walk starting from Water Street Car Park.
See some of the early 19th century buildings which were to be found in the spa village of Lockwood, attracting visitors from all over the country, then later as the Industrial Revolution helped to establish Lockwood as a lively hub of textile and engineering excellence. The walk will cover around 1.5 miles, costs £4 per person and can be booked up to 14 days before it is scheduled to take place by clicking here.
Discover Huddersfield Web App
Launched during Heritage Open Days a Web App, The Huddersfield On Foot Guide, reveals the heritage of the town for those with smartphones and those who want to discover the history of the town on their computer from the comfort of home.
The app is based on the printed Discover Huddersfield Trails with 12 trails available to follow covering themes such as Historic Buildings and Transport, cultural heritage including the Caribbean and Music Trails and local centres such as Birkby and Lindley.
Huddersfield On Foot works by using your phone’s GPS to see where you are, a map to follow points of interest and information about local landmarks. Access to the trails is free and available to all. The app can be opened by going to https://huddersfield.onfoot.guide/
Transpennine Rail Improvements
Colleague Geoff Hughes has been working closely with Huddersfield Unlimited (HU) and liaising with Kirklees Council officers ahead of the public enquiry in October. Attending the TRU Public Enquiry is a serious commitment for HCS with deadlines for submissions rapidly approaching.
One issue that is restricting a key element of the HCS’s consultation submission and preparation of a Statement of Case relates to our view that the proposals for the station must include provision for a link between St George’s Square, the station and the site of the railway warehouse and associated parking area. This is fundamental to realising the regeneration of the ‘New Town’ area within the Huddersfield Blueprint.
Network Rail has stated that the call for cross-station access is out of scope of the Transport and Works Act Orders (TWAO) since there is no existing consented development into which its plans for Huddersfield station have to fit, within its narrow remit to upgrade the line itself.
HCS and HU are attempting to discover whether discussions between Kirklees Council and owners of the warehouse are progressing, as such limitations could seriously inhibit the aspirations for this part of the town centre.
Huddersfield Blueprint – Recent Progress
Having been concerned that, having been consulted on a number of town centre projects at their initial stages but having received little feedback, our President, Bernard Ainsworth, wrote to Kirklees’ Chief Executive, prompting a response and resulting in a very useful meeting with key officers in late August.
Although I’m sure some members will have read various media articles relating to various initiatives I will try and briefly summarise some of the key projects being pursued:
New Street: Detailed proposals are being finalised for consultation with business and interest groups for the end of year. A poem by Simon Armitage will be integrated into the street pattern and designer Pip Hall had prepared designs for the vertical planters. HCS originally objected to these and still has concerns regarding maintenance of the structures and planting.
We also raised the poor maintenance of utility boxes and signage which are integral to ensuring comprehensive improvement and the issue of waste disposal and collection given an increase in the number of above shop residential applications being submitted.
McCaulay Street/Dundas Street: Much publicity has been given to McCaulay Street and concerns raised regarding retention of the open space and proposals for vehicles being allowed access from Upperhead Row to exit onto High Street. Kirklees Highways engineer provided a very clear outline of proposals that limited access with gates at other times to restrict access to vehicles servicing the pub and a handful of other businesses.
We were satisfied that retention as an open space would not be compromised. This and improvements to Dundas Street, details of which we have since been sent, are due to be implemented in 2022 with ‘gold standard’ materials ie. stone flag pavement and granite kerbs for Dundas Street.
St Peter’s Gardens: Little to report of landscaping proposals but experimental Traffic Order had allowed improved access for funeral corteges. HCS emphasised frustration voiced by St Peter’s regarding lack of information regarding progress and promise of liaison made over a year previously.
High Street/Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ): Asbestos and major structural problems have been revealed at The George Hotel with supervision regarding listed building issues being overseen by the senior conservation architect from Bowman Riley Architects. A development manager is to be appointed to co-ordinate future use and several options are still being explored.
A similar process will now take place on Estate Buildings which many of you will see has now been virtually hidden by scaffolding. High quality residential use appears the favoured option for this building.
HCS frustration was voiced over lack of progress regarding the improvement of shopfronts along that section of John William Street on leaving the square. Many years ago HCS advocated taking enforcement action against unauthorised work on these important heritage buildings. Officers have negotiated with various owners and tenants and offered substantial improvement grants but to date no applications have been submitted.
We hope that a mix of legal action and grant will be vigorously pursued to improve what currently is a visual disgrace to anyone who lives locally or visits the town. A similar grant is available for Cross Church Street which similarly presents a very poor image of the town.
Cultural Quarter: Market, Library/Art Gallery, Town Hall and Piazza: Since our meeting we are pleased to hear that IPW consultants have been appointed to look at the use of all the components of this area, including car parking and links across the ring road to the university etc. We have an early consultation meeting with IPW next week and the views of the Executive Committee have been consolidated and sent to IPW, expanding on comments submitted during the initial consultation on the Blueprint in 2019. I will report on progress in my next update.
Our thanks to the officers who we know are dealing with some of the most complex projects to have been developed for many years. We hope that, beyond initial consultations, positive engagement will continue on all these initiatives, which are crucial to the future of the town centre.
Among those applications that have been brought to our attention there has been a spate of minimum standard and seemingly low-quality conversions for residential use of upper floors within the town centre. While very much supporting residential development to support investment and bring life back into the town we have concerns over many of these units, many of which will be approved. The current exception is a high quality conversion of upper floors on King Street by Acumen Architects which we have supported and click here to see the full application.
We are currently in the process of organising our events programme for later this year and for 2022. I will report further in my next update.
I am pleased to report that HCS has secured the services of former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content Andy Hirst who now runs his own business AH! PR to manage our website for a further 12 months. As you no doubt know, a wide range of articles has been published and stories forwarded to other media outlets. The site is essential in our work in balancing the heritage, culture and attractions of the town while participating and promoting its future and in reaching a wider audience.
Let me know if you would like to be involved in any of our work or related initiatives such as the Discover Huddersfield partnership which always requires volunteers to support the walks’ programme.
Update from Huddersfield Civic Society chairman David Wyles
A web app produced by the Discover Huddersfield Partnership has been launched to coincide with this year’s Heritage Open Days in Kirklees.
The Huddersfield On Foot Guide reveals the heritage of the town for those with smartphones and those who want to discover the history of the town on their computer from the comfort of home.
The Heritage Open Days runs until September 19.
The app is based on the printed Discover Huddersfield Trails with 12 trails available to follow, covering themes such as historic buildings and transport, cultural heritage including the Caribbean and music trails and local centres such as Birkby and Lindley.
Huddersfield On Foot works by using your phone’s GPS to see where you are, a map to follow points of interest and information about local landmarks. Access to the trails is free.
Vernon O’Reilly, Chair of Discover Huddersfield said: “Huddersfield On Foot makes it even easier to discover our town, its extraordinary architecture, heritage and culture. It provides an ideal way to enjoy an informative stroll with the flexibility to follow more than one trail as you move from location to location or to explore online.”
There are 17 printed trails available from local information points and selected retailers and cafes, a programme of guided walks through the year and a number of virtual trails produced with the support of Kirklees Libraries (available by searching YouTube for Kirklees Libraries).
The partnership hopes the app will attract people from further afield who have an interest or are visiting the town.
It also complements activities being undertaken within the Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone cultural programme, funded by Historic England.
The app can be opened by going to https://huddersfield.onfoot.guide/ or visit www.discoverhuddersfield.uk for further details about Discover Huddersfield.
A special website celebrating the history of St George’s Square is now up and running and people are urged to add their own memories to it ... and they could also feature in a book.
Huddersfield Local History Society’s website Our Square (https://oursquare.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk/) is building up a history of the square, including photos.
The society will be putting together an illustrated book, to be published in 2023, which will feature eye-witness accounts and images drawn from historical sources as well as present day reminiscences so your words and pictures could be included.
Huddersfield Local History Society is also working together with the West Yorkshire Archive Service so that all our memories of St George’s Square can be preserved for future generations.
It’s part of a project called Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) which has received £90,000 from Historic England to provide community-led cultural activities in that area of Huddersfield town centre over the next three years.
Each year will have a theme. This year it’s sport and well-being to tie-in with the 2021 Rugby World Cup. The theme for 2022 will be Arrivals, reflecting the diverse make-up of Huddersfield and, finally, the theme in 2023 will be Music to complement the Kirklees Year of Music.
As well as the website helping to collect memories in words and pictures, Huddersfield Local History Society will be adding to all the sections.
This includes a comprehensive timeline written by local historian Brian Haigh who died recently. Brian also wrote articles for the history section along with Huddersfield Civic Society chairman David Wyles.
Other sections include From the Archives - stories, sometimes quirky, taken from newspapers and other archives - and a Photo Diary which will chronicle what is happening in the Square during the three years of the HAZ project and features about the square’s history.
For more information about Huddersfield Local History Society’s Memories of Our Square project email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Cyril Pearce
Chair, Huddersfield Local History Society
Brian Haigh was the former Head of Kirklees museums and galleries.
Brian, 72, who was a well-respected educator, historian and vice-chair of Huddersfield Local History Society, died at Kirkwood Hospice after a long illness.
Although he was born in Braintree, Essex, his parents Ernest – a pattern weaver from Kirkburton - and Edith had moved there to find work but returned to Kirkburton a few years later.
Brian went to school at Highburton and then Kirkburton Secondary Modern. On leaving school he continued his education at Huddersfield’s Ramsden Technical College and Huddersfield Technical College and then on to the University of Hull for a degree in History and Geography. After that there was another degree, Local History at the University of Leicester, before he took up a teaching post at Goole Grammar School where he stayed for 11 years.
On leaving Goole he went to Norwich and a post at the Castle Museum. While there he completed all his museum qualifications but, in the 1980s, at another time of local government spending cuts, he found himself out of work. He then came to Batley to run a Manpower Services Commission project.
In 1986 he was appointed to run Bagshaw Museum, Batley, a post he held for the next 12 years. As a former school teacher Brian was passionate about engaging schools with heritage and the arts. He consulted with teachers and artists and raised more than £200,000 to create an innovative, exciting education space in the museum which is an exemplar of its type.
In 1998 he was appointed Community History Manager for Kirklees Museums and Galleries, a post he held until he retired in 2004.
On retirement, he immediately plunged into a major role as a researcher with the University of Huddersfield Archives’ Lottery-funded Buildings of Huddersfield project. He painstakingly transcribed 19th century Huddersfield building plans to form the nucleus of the website which is now an invaluable aid to all those interested in the built history of the town.
At the same time he became an active member of Huddersfield Local History Society and eventually its vice-chair.
Brian’s huge experience in this field, his thoughtfulness, his insights and his unique imagination were invaluable contributions to the Society’s deliberations.
He was an early member of the Edgar Wood Heritage Group (Yorkshire), established in 2008 to champion the local works of the architect of Lindley Clock Tower, Banney Royd house in Lindley and the Clergy House at Almondbury among other buildings. More recently, Brian’s essay which unpicked the complicated history of Longley New Hall was his contribution to 2020’s book, Power in the Land, published by the University of Huddersfield and the Local History Society, which explored the history of the Ramsden estate and Huddersfield.
Brian was an inveterate and knowledgeable concert and theatregoer and an indefatigable traveller and visitor of museums, galleries and stately homes.
Despite debilitating health problems, Brian was as active as ever until the last weeks of his life. He made a major contribution to the new Our Square website which is gathering memories of St George’s Square and had several other works in progress.
The group Discover Huddersfield is hoping to add Brian’s guide about the town’s historic theatres and cinemas to its range of town trails and his major contribution to a book on Edgar Wood’s Briarcourt is yet to be published. His promised work on the history of Huddersfield Theatre Royal remains to be completed but in the years ahead, if all of this can be achieved, there will be much to remind us of Brian’s major contributions to our understanding of Huddersfield’s heritage and to that of Kirklees as a whole.
He leaves behind a loving family and a great many friends from the worlds of local history and the arts. He will be sorely missed. Eric, his older brother, died in 1991 but Brian is survived by his sister Wendy and his nephews Daniel, Matthew, Christopher, Timothy and Simon and by his great-nieces and great-nephews.
The oldest farm shop in the UK that suffered a devastating fire and a former shower block transformed into a chic café are two of the winners in the Huddersfield design awards.
Another victor in the awards run by Huddersfield Civic Society was a large detached house that had also been destroyed by fire and has now been transformed into a unique 6-bedroomed family home.
The annual awards throw the spotlight on the best designs in Huddersfield and other winners were a memorial garden for the Windrush generation from Caribbean countries and artwork in the town’s Victorian Greenhead Park.
The Best Refurbishment and Overall Winner awards went to the University of Huddersfield for the stunning way it has transformed a derelict bath house on the site of an old foundry into a café and art gallery.
Broadbent’s engineering company had sold some of its site on Queen Street South to the university and part of it featured a derelict bath house which had been originally designed by architects Abbey Hanson Rowe in 1954 and the Huddersfield-based practice – now simply known as AHR – returned to turn it into something spectacular. It’s one of the very few buildings in Huddersfield to have a roof terrace and the café will be open to the public from Monday, September 20.
The bath house is a Grade II listed building as it’s thought to be the only remaining purpose-built bath house for foundry workers in the UK. AHR have included the old showers, soap holders and walls into the design along with original lockers to capture its history.
A floor has been removed to allow light to flood into the building which is ideal to hire for functions. Now called Sovereign Design House, it’s right next to the university’s imposing Barbara Hepworth Building.
AHR director Andrew France said: “One of the key challenges to overcome was the severely dilapidated state of the building which had been unoccupied for 10 years. The building was in a very poor state of repair with water ingress, a partially collapsed roof, vermin issues and general vandalism.
“We worked to restore many of the building’s authentic properties including its roof terrace and sun lounge with the use of local stone another distinguishing feature.”
Hinchliffe’s Farm Shop at Netherton has literally risen from the ashes to scoop the Best Commercial Award.
The shop dates back to the 1960s and is thought to be the oldest farm shop in the UK but was destroyed by a fire in July 2010 caused by an electrical fault. The shop relocated to large temporary accommodation on the same site while planning permission was sought for a new building and then it had to be constructed.
The judges describe it as “a functional yet visually pleasing development that integrates well into its surroundings with the use of natural dry-stone walling and timber.”
Partner Simon Hirst said: “The old farm shop was in what was originally a poultry shed so it had its limitations. What we have now is a palace by comparison.”
At the moment the shop has a large marquee at the front where people can sit out and dine under heaters. That will be replaced with a permanent roof in the coming months but still open so people can admire the view.
Simon added: “Covid has got people used to dining outside and I think that’s something that will stay. We make it really comfortable with powerful overhead heaters so people can sit out in all weathers.”
The shop could still expand further if needed and there is also planning permission for a gastro pub on the site.
The original farm shop was set up by Simon’s grandad, Charlie Hinchliffe, who formed it in around 1970 after people kept calling at his poultry farm to buy fresh eggs. He died in July 2019 aged 95.
The Best Residential Award went to another property that was gutted by fire and has now been transformed into a stunning 6-bedroomed house on Kaffir Road in Edgerton.
It’s owned by Huddersfield-born Julie Hester who has returned to her roots after living in the Caribbean for a decade and she has made the most of the space for herself and her four grown-up sons.
Each bedroom is huge and comes with its own en-suite or dressing room and all the walls are white to reflect the light with oak doors to keep it traditional. It’s still the original building on the outside but has been sandblasted and repointed.
It’s known as an Arts and Crafts house due to its asymmetrical roofs, distinctive form and structure and was a very challenging restoration project.
The house was once owned by the late Huddersfield athlete Derek Ibbotson who held the world record for running a mile in 3 minutes and 57.2 seconds in July 1957 and was a bronze medallist in the 5,000m at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.
The architects on the project were Huddersfield-based Acumen. The photos below show the house fire damaged and then the same hallway repaired and also Julie Hester with Acumen architect Jeremy Child (centre) and architectural assistant James Fearnley.
The Community Award has gone to the Windrush Anniversary Garden in Springwood developed by Huddersfield’s Building African Caribbean Communities group.
The judges said: “This scheme has transformed a formerly unloved patch of ground surrounding a railway tunnel air vent into a colourful and relaxing area with seating that is clearly popular with local residents.”
The project was inspired by 77-year-old Denzil Nurse from Salendine Nook who was determined the Windrush generation should be remembered.
He said many immigrants from African Caribbean countries settled first in the Springwood area of Huddersfield which made this the ideal setting for the memorial.
Denzil arrived in Huddersfield in 1962 and was a psychiatric nurse for many years before going into community development work.
He said: “In the 1950s and 60s the seats in this area next to the air vent were known as the Houses of Parliament as this is where these Windrush pioneers sat, talked and set the world to rights. I wanted this anniversary garden to be their legacy.”
The Windrush generation refers to people arriving in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries and the name comes from the ship MV Empire Windrush which docked in Tilbury, Essex, in 1948 bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, to help fill post-war UK labour shortages.
The Windrush scandal, which broke in April 2018, saw the UK government apologise for deportation threats made to some of the Windrush generation children.
Despite living and working in the UK for decades, many were told they were here illegally because of a lack of official paperwork. The Home Office kept no record of those granted leave to remain and issued no paperwork making it difficult for Windrush arrivals to prove their legal status.
In 2010, it even destroyed landing cards belonging to Windrush migrants.
The final award, the Examiner Readers’ Award has gone to the Friends of Greenhead Park (FoGP) for the lakeside arbour which now features new murals painted by artist and FoGP member Helen Williamson.
The Huddersfield Civic Society judges also recognised “the tremendous efforts made by the Friends in supporting the hard work carried out by the park’s gardening team in maintaining the herbaceous borders, a delight for those who regularly visit the park.”
People have the chance to learn about one of the greatest Victorian architects, who was brought up in Huddersfield and designed some of its finest buildings.
William Henry Crossland (1835- 1908), designed several local churches and town centre buildings including Estate Buildings, Byram Arcade, Somerset Buildings and adjacent properties along Byram Street.
His reputation, nationally, was achieved for his designs of some of the Victorian era’s greatest buildings including Rochdale Town Hall and the Royal Holloway College at Egham in Surrey.
Huddersfield Civic Society chairman David Wyles said: “Crossland’s commissions in Huddersfield, including the Ramsden Estate Office on Railway Street, demonstrate his complete command of Gothic Revival architecture, combining elements from Renaissance Europe particularly from England, France and Flanders. His buildings combine grandeur with a flamboyant use of details and decoration. These demonstrate why Crossland is now considered to be one of the Victorian period’s greatest architects.”
The lecture on Monday, September 13 is one of the free events organised as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days and will be presented by Sheila Binns, Crossland’s biographer, whose book exploring his life and work was published in the autumn of 2020 and will be on sale on the night.
Sheila will reveal the creative genius behind this ambitious and talented man, his personal and artistic influences and the archival material which has brought this elusive individual to the forefront of those recognised as creating some of England’s most glorious architecture.
Organised jointly by Huddersfield Civic Society and Huddersfield Local History Society, tickets for the free talk, which begins at 7.30pm at New North Road Baptist Church, New North Parade, are available by going to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/164730831351
Those attending will be encouraged to wear facemasks except when seated, use hand sanitisation on entry and use the track and trace NHS app facility at the entrance door.
To read more about the Heritage Open Days and so see the full brochure click here.
Huddersfield Civic Society’s annual architecture award has gone to a student who has devised a highly innovative building in China.
Andrew Billington, an architecture student at the University of Huddersfield’s Department of Architecture and 3D Design, has won the Society’s coveted Peter Stead Sustainable Architecture Award.
Andrew prepared a design proposal for an Amphibi-Tecture Centre shown in these images, aimed at connecting researchers, educators and students in issues linked to ecology and the environment.
The proposed location of the centre is Haiyan, a rural village in south-west China near Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Students were asked to design at this location as part of the university's international BA programme.
Normally the students would have visited the area for three to four weeks in order to get to know it, understand the local context, carry out an urban analysis, identify a building type and location and develop design solutions. Since a visit was not possible, information was provided by staff who had visited previously and through specialist lectures delivered by local professors from the Yunnan Arts University which has long links with Huddersfield. Co-ordination between students and the civic society was undertaken by Adrian Pitts, Professor of Sustainable Architecture.
It is noteworthy that Kunming is the location for the United Nation’s CBD COP 15 (Convent on Biological Diversity) UN Biodiversity Conference in October 2021. This important and large-scale event acted as one of the inspirations for students’ studies of the local context and development of designs.
Andrew’s design took inspiration from the traditional timber houses in the village and innovatively created framework that presents a simple but effective image of the building, flowing from the land to the water.
Judges felt the concept of ‘amphibious’ provided a strong technical solution that captured a contemporary interpretation of local traditions developed over a long history. The relationship between circulation routes, public and private spaces in the building were well considered within the fluid spaces created both inside and outside.
A range of existing and new technologies were used to support the sustainability of the building, including renewable energy sources, use of low impact materials, rainwater harvesting, use of natural ventilation and ‘passive’ design strategies, plus suitable landscaping around the building.
The judges, comprised of four civic society committee members said: “Andrew’s presentation was impressive, demonstrating its benefits for the locality and the wider community. It was clear how the building’s components fitted together and how each area would be used. The use of Glulam, an engineered laminated timber, provided an economical, strong and sustainable alternative to concrete and steel. A confident and thorough submission.”
Huddersfield Civic Society says Halifax Road improvement scheme will have major impact on Edgerton Conservation Area
Huddersfield Civic Society is criticising a controversial road improvement scheme on one of Huddersfield’s busiest roads.
Kirklees Council has revealed its plans to improve traffic flow along the A629 Halifax Road from Huddersfield ring road up to the Ainley Top roundabout.
While HCS supports some aspects of the plans it is worried about the number of trees that would be felled in the Edgerton Conservation Area.
HCS member Geoff Hughes says: “We are highly critical of several aspects of this scheme and objects particularly strongly to many aspects of the plans for the Blacker Road junction which involve the felling of around 80 mature trees as we believe this will seriously damage the entrance to the Edgerton Conservation Area.
“HCS therefore asks that Kirklees Council withdraws this part of the A629 traffic scheme in view of the harm caused and the fact that the council’s own traffic measurements show this is not the section of the A629 where the main delays occur.”
Here are the HCS objections which have been submitted to Kirklees Council.
The full planning applications for the A629 Phase 5 road improvement scheme are on the Kirklees website planning section and the numbers are 2021/48/92734/W and 2021/65/92745/W
Scheme Overall - Objections
1) The absence of a summary (including description, index, list of changes across all subjects since the June 2018 consultation) plus the large number of documents and the different, and often inconsistent, approaches taken for each subject and for each area of the scheme together represent serious obstacles to citizens gaining an understanding of the changes being proposed and being able to make constructive comments.
2) We note that the traffic forecasts upon which the scheme is based appear to be dated 2015 and early 2016 and that they assume continuous growth, no account being made of either the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic or of additional traffic likely to be attracted to the A629 once any scheme is completed.
3) We can find no calculations to support a carbon impact analysis of the planned increase in traffic and thus how this scheme supports Kirklees Council’s declared ‘Climate Emergency’.
4) We can find no calculations to support the assertion that the increase in nitrous oxide pollution will be within safe limits.
5) We dispute the assertion that the overall scheme, which involves creating two new parking areas in woodland, felling dozens of mature trees and suggesting their replacement with, among others, 32 leylandii conifers, produces the claimed net increase in biodiversity. We can find no calculations to support this assertion.
6) This scheme should not be progressed without consideration of its impact on surrounding roads and local residents. A local traffic management scheme should be an integral part of such a trunk road scheme, as is the case for Kirklees Council’s currently proposed A641 Bradford Road scheme that includes a traffic management scheme for roads in the nearby part of Birkby.
7) We are disappointed that this A629 Phase 5 vehicle-only traffic scheme is not accompanied by the A629 Phase 4 scheme which is intended to encourage cycling and walking in the area.
Area C (Birchencliffe) and Area D (Yew Tree Road to Ainley Top)
HCS is broadly supportive of these elements of the scheme but has the following objections:
8) There is very limited consideration of the needs of local pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who wish to turn into, out of or across the A629 at the road junctions in Birchencliffe. While new house building continues at the top of the Grimescar valley, all local services are on the opposite (Lindley) side of the A629. This forces people into car use for short local journeys and encourages accidents at the already dangerous A629 crossing points.
9) The lack of a local traffic management scheme will result in a continuing increase in non-local vehicles using local roads. The addition of an extra lane from Yew Tree Road up to the Ainley Top roundabout will support the scheme’s own forecast of a steady increase in traffic cutting down this road to reach the M62. Why not have disincentives to traffic taking such a short-cut? Also, why not a ban on HGVs taking short-cuts to/from the A629 on specific through roads in Edgerton, Lindley and Birchencliffe?
AREA B (Cavalry Arms junction)
10) The Society asks that a method is found to guarantee that the proposed replacement tree planting in adjoining properties is both undertaken and maintained in subsequent years.
Area A (Blacker Road junction)
The Society strongly objects to many of the plans in this area and believes they will seriously damage the entrance to the Edgerton Conservation Area. We ask that Kirklees Council withdraws this part of the traffic scheme as this is the area where most harm is caused yet the submitted traffic measurements show that the main delays currently occur at the other Phase 5 scheme locations.
11) We object to the intention to fell over 80 mature trees around the Blacker Road junction as we consider this will seriously harm the appearance of the Edgerton Conservation Area.
12) We consider the proposed mitigation to be woefully inadequate. From reading the various arboricultural documents we note that much of the replacement planting of trees, shrubs and hedges appears to be proposed for nearby private gardens. We see no explanation of how this planting in private gardens will be made to happen, let alone that planting will be kept to maturity, for instance replacement trees being subject to Tree Preservation Orders. We cannot see that nearby residents, some of whom lose land to the scheme, will want these plantings, particularly when tree growth will progressively reduce light into their houses.
13) We consider 37 leylandii conifers as replacement trees to be woeful. The Royal Horticultural Society website suggests these grow to between 12m and 30m after 10 to 20 years. In the planting scheme they would form a uniform high green wall, cast thick shadows and appear hideous when pruned as there is no regrowth from the ‘dead’ wood of this species. We also note that Leylandii are often described as not supporting bird or insect life and that, by shading/drying out surrounding land, they kill-off surrounding plant life and the fauna that depends on it.
14) While some of the proposed replacement tree specimens are creditable, much is not and some appears highly eccentric. A case in point is the proposal for what amounts to a green ‘wall’ of 48 Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel) - plus other planting - below 32 of the leylandii in just five adjoining Edgerton Green gardens. If such a density of dull planting could succeed in establishing here it would represent a serious deterioration in appearance and biodiversity at the entrance to the Edgerton Conservation Area.
15) We note mention of 15 to 30-year continuing management plans for the trees and hedges but no mention of how such management plans might operate and be enforced, nor of their needing to be included in an update to Kirklees’ Council’s Conservation Area Appraisal for the Edgerton Conservation Area.
Online petitions are available should members wish to sign. The one that most closely matches HCS’ position on this scheme can be found if you click here.
People will be able to see behind the scenes at almost 60 locations in Kirklees next month as part of the national Heritage Open Days festival which will run for 10 consecutive days from September 10-19.
After significant reductions in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, this year sees an extensive and varied Kirklees programme with 59 locations opening their doors and simply scroll down the attached pamphlet to see them all.
Alongside old favourites there are over 20 new entries, many of them celebrating this year’s national theme, Edible England. Some events are also part of the Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone cultural programme, centred on St George’s Square.
The selection offers an insight many places that are not always open to the public. Sites include Dewsbury’s oldest shop, John Greenwood, and intimate local history museum, High Flatts Quaker Meeting House along with several Anglican churches, a look behind the scenes at town halls, the Lawrence Batley Theatre, the Platform 1 project at Huddersfield station, and even a Holmfirth Graveyard Walk.
The ‘Edible’ theme provides an opportunity to discover both some special foodie delights plus a taste of gardens and allotments. Cleckheaton Library reveals a local heritage involving Midget Gems and the original Fentiman’s botanical brews, while the Colne and Holme Valleys offer smallholding and landscaping projects to explore.
Huddersfield events include sound and colour featuring carnival costumes and dancers, walks that explore Irish heritage and textiles, a talk about the celebrated Huddersfield architect W H Crossland and an open day at his very first building. A festival hub on the Piazza, hosted by West Yorkshire Archive Service, will stage exhibitions and information on five of the 10 days.
All venues and events are free, although this year more than usual must be booked. For details of the venues and events in the Kirklees area and beyond go to the national website www.heritageopendays.org.uk. and search ‘Kirklees’. The Kirklees HOD brochure will be available from information points across the district from the end of August.
Please note that all events will be managed in accordance with any Covid restrictions in force at the time.
On behalf of the dedicated voluntary organisers, Kirklees Heritage Open Days committee co-ordinator, David Griffiths said: “We are all very excited about the opportunity to open our doors once again to the many people who enjoy visiting our buildings and taking part in a variety of walks, talks and activities. This year’s festival, especially with its ‘Edible’ theme, provides one of our most varied selections ever and something for all to enjoy.”
As the summer sun begins to fade there are lots of events which I’m sure will be of interest to many of our members. Perhaps, foremost among these is the talk about W H Crossland who I have long considered to be one of the country’s finest Victorian architects.
Monday, September 13 at 7.30pm
A ‘great’ among Victorian architects? Huddersfield’s W H Crossland
Meet: New North Road Baptist Church, New North Parade, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 5JU
Many of Huddersfield’s best buildings are by local architect William Henry Crossland (1835-1908), including Estate Buildings, Byram Arcade, Kirkgate Buildings and the old Post Office.
Born in Elland and brought up at Longwood House, Netheroyd Hill, he gained national recognition for a number of outstanding buildings including Rochdale Town Hall and the Royal Holloway College at Egham in Surrey. This talk by his biographer, Sheila Binns, will give an overview of Crossland’s work and his poignant personal story.
Hurry though as 50 tickets will be available to HCS and Huddersfield Local History Society members until Saturday, August 28 before the remaining 30 are offered via Eventbrite as one of this year’s Heritage Open Day events. More about these events is mentioned below.
To reserve a free place for yourself and one guest contact HCS Treasurer, Michael Barron, Email: email@example.com; Tel: 01484 537080.
Discover Huddersfield Walks’ Programme
The Discover Huddersfield walks’ programme is proving as popular as ever, but with numbers limited on each walk pre-booking through Eventbrite is essential. Each walk can be booked up to 14 days before it is scheduled to take place. Walks cost £4 per person and generally last between 90 minutes and 2 hours.
Here are the walks scheduled over the coming month:
Sunday, August 15, 2.30pm
Huddersfield’s Radical Heritage
Meet: St. George’s Square (Harold Wilson Statue)
Cyril Pearce follows the steps of those involved in Huddersfield’s most dramatic, turbulent and radical moments of our local and national history, exploring the buildings and places associated with events such as the campaign for factory reform, the Luddites, Chartism and the emergence of socialist and co-operative movements. The walk ends at the former Hall of Science on Bath Street.
Sunday, August 22, 2.30pm
Meet: Market Cross, Market Place, Huddersfield town centre
We think of Huddersfield as a Victorian town, but its transformation from ‘miserable village’ to ‘handsome town’ went on apace for several decades before Victoria came to the throne in 1837 and there is still much to see from that late Georgian period. Local historian David Griffiths will visit a variety of surviving buildings and the sites of some that have been lost in and around the town centre.
Thursday, September 2, 6pm
The Changing Face of Birkby
Meet: Outside St. John’s Church, St. John’s Road, Birkby, HD1 5EA
Join Lorna and Frank to explore the history of famous firms such as Hopkinsons engineering and Ben Shaws drinks as well as co-ops, a cinema, grand houses, churches and mosques, transport links, gardens, breweries and a workhouse.
You will also discover older heritage sites, the medieval motte and bailey fortification on Beacon Street and the timber-framed Bay Hall all showcasing Birkby’s development from a green suburb to the densely populated multicultural community we know today.
Kirklees Heritage Open Days 2021
The 59 locations will be opening their doors or offering events as part of Kirklees-wide involvement in the national Heritage Open Days festival which this year will run for 10 consecutive days from September 10 to 19. I attach a web readable version of this year’s brochure.
Despite significant reductions in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, this year, while not quite reaching the heights of 2019, sees a fuller Kirklees programme and, alongside old favourites, there are a number of new entries, many of them celebrating this year’s national theme, Edible England. Some events are also part of the Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone cultural programme, centred on St George’s Square.
Huddersfield events include sound and colour featuring carnival costumes and dancers, five Discover Huddersfield walks including Irish Heritage and Textile trails as well as regular participants including Lindley Clock Tower.
All venues and events are free, although some must be pre-booked. For details of the venues and events in the Kirklees area and beyond go to the national website www.heritageopendays.org.uk and search ‘Kirklees’. The Kirklees HOD brochure will be distributed to information points around the district by the end of the August.
Please note that all events will be managed in accordance with any Covid restrictions in force at the time.
Transpennine Rail Improvements
As you may have read on the HCS website, HCS is now guaranteed representation, together with Huddersfield Unlimited, at the intended public enquiry this autumn on Network Rail’s scheme to electrify and substantially improve the Transpennine rail route between Huddersfield and Westtown, Dewsbury. This is to help ensure the scheme is used to improve and regenerate the area around Huddersfield station, as described in the Station Gateway elements of Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Blueprint.
On July 6 we submitted a formal ‘Statement of Case’ which describes the need to include in the scheme substantially more parking for car users and better, well-lit routes for walkers and cyclists into, and across, both sides of Huddersfield station. The full document is on our recent news item headlined HCS to have its say on Network Rail’s Huddersfield railway improvements.
HCS particularly wants the rail scheme to be used as an opportunity to open up the woefully underused area around the station warehouse and link it, via the station, to St George’s Square.
Our comments complement those of other organisations, including Kirklees Council and the Kirklees Cycling campaign.
The submission has since been formally acknowledged and HCS, together with Huddersfield Unlimited, is now confirmed as one of the oral participants at any public enquiry.
Thanks to those in both HCS and HU who contributed and, particularly, to HCS Committee colleague Geoff Hughes who drafted the submission.
Further news on recent responses to planning applications and more can be found on this HCS website.
A walk will explore some of Huddersfield’s key religious sites.
The free event on Sunday, August 15, will stop at a mosque along with Sikh and Hindu temples and is part of the first Sangam Festival in Huddersfield which celebrates South Asian arts, culture and heritage.
For more on the festival which is running until August 17 click here.
The Peace Walk next Sunday will be led by Hardeep Sahota and will set off from the bandstand in Greenhead Park at 11am.
First stop will be the Sikh soldier memorial in Greenhead Park.
The walkers will then move on to the Jamia Masjid Osman mosque on Upper George Street, Huddersfield.
Next stop is the Hindu Mandir at 20 Zetland Street in Huddersfield town centre and then finally the Gurdwa Singh Sabha Sikh temple on Hillhouse Lane, Hillhouse.
Register for the walk by clicking here.
The walk is part of the Sangam Festival launched across Kirklees this summer with a mix of venue-based, outdoor and digital events.
This celebration of South Asian heritage includes heritage, arts and cultural events, including talks and trails on the history of textiles and mill workers in the area; workshops exploring family history; art and photography exhibitions; film screenings; dance and music performance from Bollywood brass bands to classical Qawalli inspired by Sufi poetry.
It is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants to run during South Asian Heritage Month from July 18 to August 17.
Huddersfield Civic Society is now guaranteed representation, together with Huddersfield Unlimited, at the intended public enquiry this autumn on Network Rail’s scheme to electrify and substantially improve the Transpennine rail route between Huddersfield and Westtown in Dewsbury.
This is to help ensure the scheme is used to improve and regenerate the area around Huddersfield station, as described in the Station Gateway elements of Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Blueprint.
On July 6 we submitted a formal Statement of Case (please see attached document) which describes the need to include in the scheme substantially more parking for car users and better, well-lit routes for walkers and cyclists into and across both sides of Huddersfield station.
The Society particularly wants the rail scheme to be used as an opportunity to open up the woefully underused area around the station warehouse and link it, via the station, to St George’s Square.
Our comments complement those of other organisations, including Kirklees Council and the Kirklees Cycling campaign.
The submission has since been formally acknowledged and the Society, together with Huddersfield Unlimited, is now confirmed as one of the oral participants at any public enquiry.
Thanks to those in both HCS and HU who contributed to the submission.
Discover Huddersfield Walks are back and the next one that’s not fully booked will be in Marsden (click on the PDF at the bottom of the story for the full walks programme).
All walks must be pre-booked through Eventbrite and will be available to book around 14 days before each one is held.
The first walk around Lindley on July 15 is fully booked which shows that people are keen to participate in outdoor activities again.
Here are the details about the evening stroll around Marsden on Tuesday, August 10 at 6.30pm.
Meet outside the Mechanics Institute and this evening walk around Marsden will be led by Tom Lonsdale. Tom is a Chartered Landscape Architect and current Chair of Marsden Community Trust, which was established to take ownership of the listed Marsden Mechanics on behalf of the village community.
Tom will recount the origins of the building and its relationship with the textile industry that flourished for so long and shaped Marsden, moving on to look at the remarkable remnants of that age - the canal and railway, the ‘oversized’ church, slumbering mills etc.
The walk will include the remarkable story of the village including relics of the even earlier Luddite rebellion, plus a hint of the future as a gateway to a new regional South Pennines Park.
Join us and learn more about this bustling Pennine centre where the rich legacy of its history and its recent revival will be revealed.
Hurry though as places are limited to 20 and booking is essential.
To reserve a free place for yourself and one guest contact HCS Treasurer Michael Barron,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 01484 537080. Other than members' guests, non-members will be charged £5 (payable on the evening). The walk is expected to last around two hours.
In December 2020, HCS submitted comments to Kirklees Council concerning three Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) and a biodiversity document. Click here to read this story.
These SPDs were formally adopted by the council on June 29, 2021.
The council also adopted a Climate Change Guidance for Planning Applications, a document which, we understand, was never consulted upon.
Our understanding is that these documents all now have the same legal force within Kirklees as existing local planning documents that support our adopted Local Plan, the legal position being that SPDs exist to explain in more detail how the requirements stated in the Local Plan are to be met.
However good the intentions, it is difficult to see anything positive in adding these innumerable extra (but often vague and imprecise) requirements for developers to add/consider/include across so many matters in their planning applications.
The additional complexity will require extra effort by applicants, extra time for planners to assess and could lead to more challenges and disputes. Additionally, there could be challenges as to whether the scope of these SPDs goes beyond the contents of the approved Local Plan.
It is also quite likely that the government’s intended planning reforms (included in the recent Queen’s speech) might make these documents obsolete as the proposed design guide approach (in last year’s planning white paper) takes a different, and arguably, simpler approach to the subjects covered by the three SPDs.
Summer is upon us and although there have been delays in the exit from Covid restrictions, we are busy preparing walks and events programmes with colleagues from the Discover Huddersfield partnership and Heritage Open Days committee. Read on.
Discover Huddersfield Walks’ Programme
Although there’s a reduced programme for 2021, eight walks are scheduled with an additional five free walks during Heritage Open Days (HOD) which this year runs for more than a week between Friday, September 10 and Sunday, September 19.
Note: All walks in the programme MUST be pre-booked. Details on how to book will be available from early July by going to https://discoverhuddersfield.uk
The first walk on July 15 will be ‘A Walk Through Lindley’s Past.’ Other themes will be Building Stones, Sites from Slaithwaite’s Radical Past, Huddersfield’s Radical Heritage, Georgian Huddersfield, the Changing Face of Birkby, the Age of Architectural Decoration and Surprising Lockwood – from Elegant Spa to Industrial Hub. The HOD walks are: Exploring the Town’s Ramsden Heritage, Walking the Banks of the River Colne, Huddersfield Textile Walk, Buildings of Huddersfield’s 19th Century ‘New Town’ and the Irish in Huddersfield.
There is a charge of £4 per person for Discover Huddersfield walks but the five Heritage Open Day walks are free. Note though there will be a limit on numbers attending so keep an eye out for further details which will also be posted on the HCS website.
Heritage Open Days and High Streets/Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme
Other than the free walks mentioned above, properties and events are currently registering for this year’s Heritage Open Days Festival. Some of these events will also feature in a wider programme following the award of a £90,000 grant from Historic England as part of the Huddersfield High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to create and deliver community-led cultural activities on the high street over the next three years. Both myself and David Griffiths are involved in a consortium established to manage this programme.
As you may have read on the HCS website, this year’s programme will include a small festival of running and walking including the George Hotel Mile celebrating the achievement of local athlete Derek Ibbotson who broke the world record for fastest mile and the Tour de HAZ and a cycling route taking in local points of history and interest. Plus, of course, there will be a celebration of the Rugby League World Cup with the creation of a Carnival King costume that will feature at various events, including one of the quarter final games to be played in Huddersfield on November 12, 2021.
Also included in the festival is the talk by Sheila Binns on Monday, September 13, at New North Road Baptist Church about Huddersfield-born W H Crossland, now recognised as one of the Victorian era’s greatest architects, following her recently published biography. Organised jointly by HCS and Huddersfield Local History Society, this will be a free lecture. Booking details will be circulated at a later date.
Heritage Action Zone Development Initiatives
Beyond the Cultural Programme, liaison continues to ensure HCS is updated with regard to progress on physical developments within the HS/HAZ area centred on St George’s Square.
The George Hotel, which had been left in a very poor state of repair prior to Kirklees Council purchasing it, has been subject to major investigations and removal of asbestos. Liaison with Historic England has been an essential element of this process in ensuring future proposals are in accordance with the building’s historic and architectural significance. A similar process will be undertaken in relation to Estate Buildings which has long been advocated for high quality residential use.
Understandably, the drive to improve shop fronts, particularly on a section of John William Street and along Cloth Hall Street, has been affected by COVID, with many owners and tenants struggling as a result of the pandemic over the past 15 months. HCS has, for many years, promoted the need for such improvements and design guidance for owners and we will continue to both support improvements and press for enforcement actions where illegal changes are being made to architecturally important properties.
Kirklees Council Cabinet Meeting on June 22
It’s not often I would recommend wading through lengthy documents produced by Kirklees. However, rather than trying to summarise initiatives being taken forward, all of which the HCS Executive Committee has been involved with at some level of consultation and discussion, those with some spare moments (plus, a glass of wine may help), may wish to look at reports which went to Kirklees Cabinet on June 22: (Public Pack) Agenda Document for Cabinet, 22/06/2021 15:00 (kirklees.gov.uk).
These reports contain some of the most relevant information on issues relating to our work and comments we have made over the past year, specifically Item 11, Adoption of quality places Supplementary Planning Documents and Biodiversity Net Gain Technical Advice.
Note: Item 13, to seek approval to carry out public consultation and make revised applications to West Yorkshire Combined Authority in relation to Huddersfield Station Gateway and Trinity Street Access and Item 14, Cultural Heart, part of the Huddersfield Blueprint - Next Steps.
Item 11 (SPDs) includes comments made by the society some months ago. Item 13 relates to co-ordination and consultation colleagues Chas Ball and Geoff Hughes are undertaking with Huddersfield Unlimited and council officers and item 14 and further items relate to the appointment of consultants and the acquisition of a strategic property in the Cultural Heart quarter.
Former committee colleague John Lockwood is providing invaluable help in trying to monitor incoming planning applications but we desperately need to identify a Planning Officer for the society who can both monitor and respond to applications.
For example, this month there has been a number of applications which are of interest, ranging from proposals for commercial units on Park Avenue, Springwood, adjacent to Springwood Conservation Area, to a number of residential conversions.
Some of these fall within the General Permitted Development Order such as the conversion of Crown House, Southgate (2021/92282) into 85 apartments, over which there is limited control.
Others include amendments to the permission for conversion of the former Kirklees College building on New North Road, a key feature in David Griffith’s book on Highfields, and conversion of the Excelsior Works on St John’s Road, where the saying concerning ‘swinging a cat’ comes to mind.
If anyone is willing to help in this important part of our work, please contact me.
I hope you all have an enjoyable summer.
Huddersfield Civic Society members can view an online exhibition of student work from the School of Art Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield.
The RADAR 2021: Rise online degree show will launch on Thursday, June 24 at 6pm and it will be online with a film featuring students and staff which can be accessed through the RADAR website: https://radar.hud.ac.uk/
The university states: “Our graduates thrive when putting their creative talents to the test, whether through addressing design challenges or generating new insights into how we engage with the world. Our annual summer degree show exhibition is, alongside graduation, always a highlight of the academic year.”
A running event inspired by one of Huddersfield’s greatest athletes will be held as part of a series of exciting events in Huddersfield town centre.
Called the George Hotel Mile, it will be held in honour of the late Derek Ibbotson who set a new world mile record in London in 1957 clocking a time of three minutes 57.2 seconds – a year after winning a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.
This is all happening because a consortium, created to prepare and deliver a programme of community-led cultural activities in Huddersfield over the next three years, has been awarded a £90,000 grant from Historic England as part of the Huddersfield High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).
Huddersfield Civic Society chairman David Wyles has played an active role in the group and part of the programme includes initiatives he is co-ordinating on behalf of the Discover Huddersfield partnership (DH).
This will include a number of new and revised printed trails, the launch of a web app based on the 16 trails now in existence and support for further virtual trails being prepared in liaison with Kirklees Libraries. There is also a close connection to a further raft of proposals being delivered by HCS members David Griffiths and Christine Verguson, on behalf of Huddersfield Local History Society and the Kirklees Heritage Open Days committee.
Huddersfield HSHAZ is one of more than 60 high streets to receive a share of £6m for their cultural programme. Grants of up to £120,000 have been awarded to local arts organisations for cultural activity on each high street.
The consortium, led by the Theatre and Arts Company CHOL and supported by Kirklees Council, is made-up of a diverse membership of local interest groups, businesses, and community organisations.
The programme will run throughout the year with the main concentration of activity in September to coincide with the national Heritage Open Days. Events will include the Woven Festival, local history walks and talks and a collection of ‘memories of the Square’. Events will culminate in a book, music, dance, and theatre festival, in particular celebrating Huddersfield Carnival.
This year a small festival of running, walking and cycling is planned. Hi!HAZ Active will include the George Hotel Mile, celebrating the achievement of local athlete Derek Ibbotson who broke the world record for fastest mile and the Tour de HAZ, a cycling route taking in local points of history and interest. Plus, of course, there will be a celebration of the Rugby League World Cup, with the creation of a Carnival King costume, that will feature at various events, including one of the quarter final games to be played in Huddersfield on November 12, 2021.
This programme of activities and events is part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make our high streets more attractive, engaging, and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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