CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
Following the HCS’s request for the application be called in by the Secretary of State we are still awaiting news. A number of serious accidents have occurred on the access road to the hill in recent weeks and we feel that these dangers will be exacerbated if development is allowed to go ahead and traffic volumes increase.
High Streets heritage action zone cultural programme
Positive news has been received from Kirklees team leader, Town Centre Conservation and Design. The owner of most of the shop fronts on the section of John William Street has appointed an architect to submit a grant application for shopfront improvements. Those shops not participating are now subject to enforcement action. We have long been advocating for improvement
Work on the George Hotel is progressing with the removal of asbestos. A conservation architect and structural engineer are expected to be appointed soon to prepare schedules for external and internal repairs to the fabric.
(HSHAZ) Cultural programme
As mentioned in my last update the bid to Historic England for financial support towards cultural activities around the HAZ and town centre is now ready for submission. £5,000 has been earmarked towards development of new and revised Discover Huddersfield trails, virtual trails, and the web app. The bid also includes initiatives to enhance Huddersfield events within the annual Heritage Open Days festival.
Those of you who have seen the recent proposals for rejuvenating New Street and Cloth Hall Street may have participated in the presentations by council officers on December 16 and 17.
Although a key element within the council’s Blueprint for the town centre, a number of our members have expressed concerns regarding aspects of durability, future maintenance of flower beds and, particularly, materials indicated for constructing the raised beds.
These beds also appear to divide the street into two, raising additional concerns. We will attempt to raise these issues with project officers as well as asking for greater emphasis to be placed on how this scheme relates to future uses of building along each side of New Street, given the increasing number of vacant and poorly maintained premises.
In the October update, mention was made of a letter regarding trans-Pennine rail improvements, jointly signed by the HCS chairman and Sir John Harman, Chair of Huddersfield Unlimited, sent to the Secretary of State for Transport.
On November 24 a reply was received saying: ‘ …We welcome your support for the implementation of a fully electrified route and the environmental benefits you have highlighted ….We are expecting to bring forward a case for funding and approvals by mid-2021 …’.
Huddersfield Civic Society and Huddersfield Unlimited have also welcomed the call for full electrification of the line, following the publication of the report 'Rail Needs Assessment for the North and the Midlands', by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC)
The period for submitting nominations for our 2020 awards has passed and usually Chris Marsden and myself would expect to judge the schemes at the end of this month. Clearly, this may have to be delayed but I am pleased that we have a reasonable selection and, especially, a number of community-led projects.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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