HCS Members’ Update June 2023

Image of what the restored George Hotel will look like. See story under planning issues below

Summer is upon us and there has been a lot of activity in and around the town.Events

Saturday, July 22, 2023. Tour of Barnsley Town Centre

I hope you will all have seen the recently sent invitation for the morning tour hosted by Barnsley Civic Trust. Not only will we be able to appreciate both the heritage and newer developments within the town but the morning will also include a visit to the Miners’ Hall to see some of the items associated with those involved in extracting the black gold.

The tour will begin with a welcome introduction, tea/coffee at the Cooper Gallery (a train from Huddersfield arrives just before 10am and car parking is available nearby.

The cost for the morning tour of Barnsley is just £5 for HCS members and £8 for non-members. Numbers are limited to 25 maximum so if you are interested in attending please ensure you book by July 14 latest by contacting HCS Treasurer Michael Barron, telephone: 01484 537080; email:  by Monday, July 1 in order for us to confirm numbers with Barnsley CT.

Discover Huddersfield Walks Programme 2023

Exploring Marsden – The Growth of a Village will be the focus of the next DH walk at 7pm on Thursday, June 15. This will be followed on June 25 at 2.30pm by Sites from Slaithwaite’s Radical Past. Bookings can be made up to 14 days before each walk through Eventbrite by going to bit.ly/42gClji

Evening Walk Around Golcar

A provisional date has been set for our annual evening stroll, this year around the heart of Golcar, finishing with supper at Colne Valley Museum. Further details will be circulated soon but it will be a 6pm start on Thursday, August 24.

Transport News

Station Gateway

We understand Kirklees is awaiting comments on the draft brief from some of the external stakeholders – West Yorkshire Combined Authority, HD1 Developments Ltd (owners of the station warehouse), Network Rail and TransPennine Trains Ltd (the successor to TransPennine Express Ltd).

Once these comments have been received we hope the brief will be finalised and consultants appointed after which we expect HCS, as part of our combined efforts with Huddersfield Unlimited (HU), to be included in further consultation.

Leeds Road Improvements

HCS committee colleague Geoff Hughes recently visited the Leeds Road A62 corridor with members of the HU Transport Group to review the recently (just about) completed cycle route scheme and new crossings.

There has been general praise for the scheme and it is clear that considerable thought and money has been expended on tree planting along some of the new central reservation and new shrubbery and herbaceous verges. Critically, all the above need maintenance in the first couple of summers, especially during dry weather as we have recently experienced.

Let’s hope more consideration is given to this issue given the complaints I submitted in 2022 following the failure to water the container planted trees in St George’s Square, many of which were left to perish in the drought.

Conservation and Listed Buildings

Former Infirmary

Continuing concern about the state of the former Infirmary, now even more visible following the demolition of the Kirklees College blocks, has led to an investigation of what efforts are being made to ensure adequate protection is being given to the Grade 2* building and its adjoining listed extensions. I have now emailed Helen Bower, Team Leader Kirklees Conservation, Design, Ecology and Trees, requesting clarification on the current position, stating the following:

“I note details for the sale of the remainder of this site, including the former Grade 2* Infirmary are now with an agent: https://search.fljltd.co.uk/properties/140253-trinity-west-trinity-street-huddersfield.

“Noting the following from the Deed of Agreement drawn up between Kirklees and the owner of the site, would you be able to tell us what progress has been made in instigating the Urgent Repair Works and Conservation Management Plan?

“It’s difficult to understand all elements referred to in the legal agreement but we feel it is of growing concern that the listed buildings remain vulnerable and are much more visible now demolition of the former college buildings, in preparation for the Lidl supermarket, has taken place.”

Other Buildings at Risk

I have also written to Kirklees Enforcement Team regarding two other listed buildings. The Green, 32 Meltham Road, Lockwood, has been left in a very dilapidated state for many years but its framework is believed to date from a mediaeval structure.

And 104 Trinity Street is one of the fine ashlar faced early C19th terraced properties leading towards Greenhead Park. Its shop signage is both huge, inappropriate and appears never to have received planning or listed building consent.

There are several other important buildings where we have voiced concerns but if you are aware of buildings, either listed or in Conservation Areas, where dereliction or illegal work has been carried out please let us know. We will do our best to engage the appropriate Kirklees officers in taking appropriate action.

Planning Issues

The George Hotel

On June 8 Kirklees Strategic Planning Committee delegated approval of the application and the issuing of the decision notice to the Head of Planning and Development subject to an additional condition to establish a cycle storage facility for hotel employees. Although not a statutory consultee, many of the issues raised by HCS in its submission regarding the application appear to align with comments made by Historic England.

There have been some fundamental changes which improve the relationship with the original building as well as improvements to fenestration, parapet levels and unification of various elements.
The west elevation is particularly much stronger, both in its relationship with the original and as a new build extension.

Let’s hope the management agreement between the council and Radisson will allow work to begin without delay in order to stimulate further investment along the station to stadium corridor.