CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
Fancy an enlightening stroll? Here are some excellent ways to discover Huddersfield on foot.
The 2019 walks' programme produced by the Discover Huddersfield partnership is available by clicking the link below.
It includes 17 walks around the town with themes including architecture, radical history, music and Caribbean heritage.
Walks are also arranged around areas including Almondbury, Birkby and Highfields.
The first of the season is a literary walk (bookable), in conjunction with Huddersfield Literary Festival led by former HCS Chairman, Chris Marsden.
Walks cost £3 – although four walks during the Heritage Open Days in September are free of charge.
The leaflet will be available from local information points, including libraries, railway information kiosk, and the Piazza from early March.
The DH partnership, of which the HCS is a key member, also produces 16 free trails for those who want to discover more about the town.
A proposal to allocate funding for the improvement of shop fronts in the area around St George's Square was agreed this week by Kirklees Council's cabinet.
Huddersfield Civic Society applauds the decision – and we welcome your views on this important topic. An Huddersfield Examiner story on the subject may be found here.
Members have for many years raised concerns about the quality of signage and shop fronts especially along a section of John William Street. They have advocated design guidance to support those wishing to make changes
Civic Society Chairman, David Wyles, said; 'Our Design Awards have not only included a 'Best Shop Front' category but have highlighted poor and often illegal frontages of adjacent properties.
“We have lobbied for enforcement action on the worst offenders but recognise the carrot and stick approach proposed by Kirklees.'
Mr Wyles said that the society had organised workshops to look at issues affecting the town, particularly as towns across the country were having to make radical decisions concerning the future of their centres.
'Owners and tenants of shops and businesses need to appreciate that good design means good business. Visual improvements will not only attract more visitors but more investment' he said.
In the Huddersfield Civic Society Design Awards 2017, the best shop front award was won by Icestone Gelato on John William Street.
The judges said: 'The business is in complete contrast to the many poor shop fronts and often illegal signs along this section of John William Street.
This shop front illustrates how new owners are willing not only to invest in Huddersfield as part of an expanding company portfolio but have done so with brio and flair.
Icestone Gelato has replaced the former Toni and Guy hairdressing salon within a listed group of buildings that form an architecturally and historically important part of Huddersfield Town Centre Conservation Area.
The architect has created a contemporary and functional shop window, with a stylish interior, that immediately reflect the products on sale within.
Kirklees Council has been told it can proceed towards adoption of the Local Plan.
An independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate has concluded that with the recommended modifications the plan is sound and legally compliant.
Its adoption will be considered by councillors at an extraordinary Council meeting on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
Details regarding the meeting will be published on the council’s website in due course. Meanwhile, the Inspector’s report can be viewed here.
David Wyles, chairman of Huddersfield Civic Society says: "After so many delays the approval of the Local Plan now appears inevitable.
"Since the 1960s, successive strategic plans have resulted in the creep of suburbia, loss of some of our precious green spaces with minimal impact on the provision of affordable homes, issues of sustainability and reduction of vehicular traffic.
"In commenting on the draft plan HCS highlighted the fact that no specific provision had been made for housing in and around Huddersfield town centre.
"While the plan's approval seems a fait accompli it is hoped that attention will be paid to the considerable opportunities for all types of residential provision, that provide more choice, sustainability and higher densities on such sites as around the former sports centre, riverside and swathes of semi derelict brownfield land and vacant property.
"Huddersfield, we believe, should follow the example being set by larger cities and reverse the derogatory image of the 'inner city' and bring back life and vitality to our town centre.
It is in the hands of Kirklees in partnership with the private sector to drive this opportunity forward."
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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