CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
Chairman’s News Update: May 2021
By David Wyles
Tuesday 22 June, 6.30pm: Evening stroll: Discovering Highfields – a Most Handsome Suburb.
Last November, we were proud to produce ‘Huddersfield – a Most Handsome Suburb’ written by David Griffiths and, if you haven’t yet purchased a copy, it’s available through our website or direct from Waterstones, Lindley Children’s Bookshop or Read in Holmfirth.
David will now lead a personal tour of this remarkable but relatively unexplored area on the evening of June 22, starting from Cambridge Road Car Park. Numbers attending will be limited to 15 people so booking is essential by contacting HCS Treasurer Michael Barron. Email: email@example.com; Tel: 01484 537080. There is no charge for the walk which is expected to last between 90 minutes and two hours.
Monday, September 13, 7pm, New North Road Baptist Church: A ‘great’ among Victorian architects? Huddersfield’s W. H. Crossland.
A presentation by Sheila Binns following her recently published biography of Huddersfield born William Henry Crossland, now recognised as one of the Victorian era’s greatest architects. Organised jointly by HCS and Huddersfield Local History Society, this will be a free lecture, one of many being planned for inclusion within this year’s Heritage Open Days Festival which runs from the September 10-19.
Booking details will be circulated at a later date.
Mid – Late August: Evening stroll around Marsden.
Details to follow.
Trans Pennine Rail Upgrade
As mentioned in my previous update, Network Rail has submitted detailed proposals for the planned upgrade of the trans Pennine rail line between Dewsbury and Huddersfield. While we understand Kirklees Council plans to submit a number of issues concerning the proposals by May 17 we remain concerned about several omissions including:
* Options to link the proposed major redevelopment of Huddersfield station to elements within the Huddersfield Blueprint for the Station Gateway, including access between St George’s Square, the railway warehouse and adjacent land.
* Active travel issues relating to pedestrian safety (John William Street under bridge lighting) and Deighton Station (access from the Birkby Bradley Greenway)
There is likely to be a public enquiry, possibly this autumn, on the scheme at which HCS (probably in conjunction with working partners Huddersfield Unlimited)) may well wish to make representations.
The HCS/HU working group is also liaising with Kirklees officers although is disappointed that there appears no progress on planned cycle schemes and no adequate cycling strategy.
Strong disappointment has also been expressed over Kirklees Council’s refusal to consider a Section 106 contribution as a condition on extensive housing proposals for land adjacent to the disused railway near Fenay Bridge which was given approval on April 28.
It was stated that: “Consideration was given to securing a contribution towards this route. However, at this stage, given that it remains in private ownership without a clear strategy to bring it forward as a walking and cycling route, a contribution could not be justified at this point in time.” The S.106 contribution was not pursued as the Fenay Greenway is not considered to be an active project.
Castle Hill Proposals
Following a Freedom of Information request HCS received a copy of the comments made by Historic England prior to the decision by the Secretary of State not to call in the application.
It stated: “We consider that the improvements to the design of the building relative to previous applications represent a reduced level of harm to the heritage assets which is less than substantial harm in the terms of the NPPG para. 195, so that para. 196 applies …. we do not consider that the heritage component of this application meets the Government’s criteria for call-in. Therefore, Historic England advises that on heritage grounds the determination of the application may be left to the local planning authority.”
We have studied the ‘terms of NPPG para. 195’ and believe the comments made by Historic England are spurious. NPPG states that applications should be refused ‘unless it can be demonstrated that the substantial harm or total loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss, or all of the following apply:
(a) the nature of the heritage asset prevents all reasonable uses of the site; and
(b) no viable use of the heritage asset itself can be found in the medium term through appropriate marketing that will enable its conservation; and
(c) conservation by grant-funding or some form of not for profit, charitable or public ownership is demonstrably not possible; and
(d) the harm or loss is outweighed by the benefit of bringing the site back into use.
For the thousands who visit Castle Hill regularly and have made it, perhaps, Huddersfield’s most popular visitor attraction, all these criteria cannot be applied.
It is a very well used and ‘viable’ asset, has always been eligible for grant funding and the site has a well-established use – as a heritage-based visitor attraction in public ownership. Perhaps Historic England would like to explain what ‘substantial benefits’ outweigh these factors?
Other Planning Matters
Each month we try and respond to submitted planning applications and other enquiries, which may detrimentally – or sometimes positively – affect listed buildings, conservation areas or result in a major impact on local neighbourhoods. Here are a couple of examples of the issues dealt with recently:
Planning application 20/92546: 770 new houses at Crosland Hill. Colleagues Chas Ball and Geoff Hughes have made excellent representations on behalf of the society, highlighting issues related to this village size proposal at the edge of Crosland Moor.
Our concerns are summarised on the HCS web site ‘Planning’ section following Chas and Geoff’s online attendance at the Strategic Planning Committee last month.
Grade 2 Listed Kiln, Kiln Court, off Laund Road, Salendine Nook. Following an enquiry to the HCS website, expressing concern regarding the deterioration of this structure, we investigated the status of the kiln in collaboration with Kirklees Conservation Officer, Craig McHugh.
In 1987 Paul Cockcroft Properties owned all the land that was subject to residential development proposals. Listed building consent was granted for the retention of the kiln but the developing company was dissolved. Land/property assets are usually vested in the Crown by a process known as Bona Vacantia. There is no listed building jurisdiction over property owned by the Crown so unless a community led initiative to restore the structure can be found, the kiln will continue to deteriorate. The matter illustrates what hidden gems exist in our town but equally the problems that can arise in protecting them for future generations.
For those interested in the history of the kiln and the family of potters who established their business in Salendine Nook, HCS member, Christine Verguson passed me the attached link which is worth reading: https://www.catalogue.wyjs.org.uk/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=KC00804
The recently refreshed Victorian Society’s West Yorkshire Group is clearly celebrating the easing of restrictions with a lecture by author Geoff Brandwood, who reveals some of our most interesting heritage pubs.
The focus will be on pubs in the north of England, by exploring differences between the north and south. They will range from small rural inns to great drinking palaces built in the golden age of pub building over a century ago.
Geoff is an architectural historian and the author and co-author of many books on pubs (as well as churches).
Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 7pm, or watch at a time that suits you: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/north-and-south-victorian-heritage-in-our-pubs-tickets-151804895529
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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