CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
A further report calling for the full electrification of the trans-Pennine railway line has been welcomed by Huddersfield Civic Society.
The report, ‘Rail Needs Assessment for the North and the Midlands' (December 2020) produced by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), has suggested that by prioritising regional links the government can maximise its return on rail investment.
It follows the ‘unambiguous support’ of the Secretary of State for Transport, reported in our news item Government acknowledges the case for TransPennine rail electrification.
Kirklees Council has published proposals for rejuvenating New Street and Cloth Hall Street, key elements within the Council's Blueprint for the town centre.
The links at the foot of this story provide an opportunity to view images of the intended improvements, including details about street furniture, lighting and paving, plus a chance to join public consultations on December 16 and 17.
HCS chairman David Wyles with HCS Executive Committee colleagues, Chas Ball and Martin Kilburn welcomed the opportunity to view the proposals a few weeks ago.
The story behind the development of Huddersfield first suburb is told in a new book by a local historian, David Griffiths.
Highfields: a Most Handsome Suburb, published today by Huddersfield Civic Society, has been written as a companion to his book The Villas of Edgerton. Once again he paints a picture of a distinctive and architecturally significant area, acknowledged today by its Conservation Area designation.
The text is complemented by the pictures of Andrew Caveney, of Creative Digital Photography, and a variety of images, maps and photographs, sourced from local and national archives.
A planning application for ' improvements' to the Halifax Road (A629) in Edgerton, Lindley and Birchencliffe is due for approval in the New Year. This film illustrates the shortcomings of the council’s plan.
The background to the story: In 2018 Kirklees Council revealed proposals for improvements to the A629 from its junction with Blacker Road at Edgerton to the M62 junction. The scheme is to be funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).
At our December meeting, Jeff Keenleyside of Greenstreams, presented the ambitious proposals to create a nature park covering the enormous assets of the rivers Colne, Holme and Calder areas in Kirklees.
Combining the shared vision of Greenstreams, River Holme Connections, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and others, he outlined ideas for taking the 3 Valleys Nature Park project forward and how it will benefit the whole community.
The full story may be read here.
We welcome the opportunity to comment on four guidance documents published by Kirklees Council in October as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD), which it hopes 'will encourage a higher standard of design of residential developments in the area'. The are:
We note a government summary of the purpose of SPDs:
'Supplementary planning documents (SPDs) should build upon and provide more detailed advice or guidance on policies in an adopted local plan. As they do not form part of the development plan, they cannot introduce new planning policies into the development plan.
The Transport Secretary's unambiguous recognition of the benefits of full electrification of the trans-Pennine rail route (TRU) has been welcomed by Huddersfield Unlimited (HU) and Huddersfield Civic Society (HCS).
In particular, we welcome the confirmation of the contribution full electrification would make to decarbonisation of the railway as well as delivering improvements to reliability, freight and passenger capacity, regional connectivity and journey times.
We are disappointed that government will not take a decision until mid- 2021 to support the full TRU upgrade as part of the rolling programme of electrification, proposed by Network Rail.
The Yorkshire Post has published the following story:
Campaign groups have said Government backing for the full electrification of the Transpennine rail route between York and Manchester would signal that it is serious about levelling up the North.
Huddersfield Unlimited and Huddersfield Civic Society say electrification, which has been twice postponed, represents “an immediate and tangible opportunity” to help drive the economy of towns like Huddersfield in the right direction.
A decision made by Kirklees Strategic Planning Committee suggests the Council places little value on the heritage assets under its protection.
This is despite its commitment in LP35 of the Local Development Plan to ‘preserve and enhance the significance of heritage assets’.
The Civic Society believes that last Wednesday’s decision to approve the proposed development on Castle Hill, is indefensible and the proposal cannot be justified.
Huddersfield Civic Society and Huddersfield Unlimited are concerned that the case for full electrification of the trans-Pennine route from York to Manchester needs to be made more effectively at this time. It has twice been postponed by government, with national decisions on rail investment imminent.
We are working with others that support the case for full electrification and see the clear benefits of its being a priority for investment. They include Kirklees Council, Zero Carbon Yorkshire, Railfuture (Yorkshire) and Action on Yorkshire Transport.
Civic Society members and the public are invited to nominate their favourite buildings in our 2020 Design Awards.
Established in 2012, the awards have been presented to the best developments within Huddersfield completed over the past couple of years.
You can nominate projects in the following categories:
There is no restriction on the number of nominations.
A virtual heritage walk organised by Kirklees Libraries in partnership with Discover Huddersfield has received plaudits from as far afield as Seattle.
The walk, devised by Frank Grombir and Lorna Brooks, was based on the Birkby Trail leaflet, one of 17 produced by the Discover Huddersfield partnership.
The trail was broadcast live on September 17 as an event held as part of the annual Heritage Open Days Festival.
Huddersfield Civic Society has announced the winners of its 2019 Design Awards. Chairman David Wyles and former Chairman Chris Marsden judged an impressive range of projects nominated by HCS members and the public in early February 2020.
Above, President Bernard Ainsworth presents the overall winner award to hotel manager Mark Ayre of the Manor House, Lindley. Full story on our Design Awards page.
Sixteen venues or locations in Kirklees will open or offer events as part of the national Heritage Open Days festival, which runs for ten consecutive days from September 11.
This year’s selection offers an insight into places not always open to the public. Venues include John Greenwood, Dewsbury’s oldest shop and now a local history museum, High Flatts Quaker Meeting House and several Anglican churches.
A biography to be published this month explores the 'mysterious and elusive' Huddersfield architect William Henry Crossland.
Crossland was born in 1835, the son of stone mason Henry Crossland, and baptised in Elland. By 1841, the family was living in Longwood House, Fartown.
He became a pupil of the London architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1850s and went on to set up his own practice in Halifax.
Kirklees Council has approved its own plan for three tall sculptures to be built on New Street, in spite of objections submitted by HCS.
Details of appearance or landscaping remain undisclosed but the council says approval of those matters must be obtained before development is begun.
All we know of the 'sculptural features' is that they will have a maximum height of 12 metres and be made of metal 'with an open structure to give a feeling of lightness'.
This was the text of our objection sent to the council:
Kirklees Council has given an assurance to Huddersfield Civic Society that it has 'no plans to weaken or abolish any planning committees'.
The pledge by council leader Cllr Shabir Pandor was made in response to concerns expressed in a letter from society president, Bernard Ainsworth.
Cllr Pandor writes: 'Public input into decision making is an essential element of our democracy. Our focus as an administration is on improving engagement with local people and working with them on the issues that affect them. Localised decision making on planning issues is clearly part of that process.'
By DAVID WYLES, Chairman, Huddersfield Civic Society
I was saddened to hear of the death of Joe Marsden who, with his brother John and families, contributed so much to the town over many years.
Joe epitomised what is termed ‘the hospitality industry’, with his warm welcome, generosity, humour and understanding of the people for whom the night club, bistro and hotels became their favourite venues.
Huddersfield Civic Society is working to support Kirklees Council develop plans for the Huddersfield Blueprint’s Station Gateway.
A new, west-side station entrance, with a pedestrian link from St George’s Square, would revitalise the railway warehouse and surrounding area. The square itself would benefit from the removal of vehicles accessing the station.
This week the Society submitted an outline for a suggested approach to Peter Steniulis in the Council’s Major Projects Service.
HCS has established a joint transport working group with Huddersfield Unlimited to help improve transport links in and around the town.
The group has identified five themes that are important to the economy and quality of life in the town, including digital connectivity. Initially the working group will focus on two areas:
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
Comments may be made at the end of a story