In the past few months many people have wondered what the hidden agenda was for the proposed demolition of Northgate House and the Central Library. Also, just as important, who was behind the hidden agenda.
We finally learned it was the developer of the Broad Street scheme who wanted the demolition of the two public buildings in order to attract a Primark store on that site and would pay considerable sum to make that a reality.
What does this information tell us? It tells us that decisions such as a major development in the central area should not fall within the province of anybody but the elected councillors who represent the electorate and that monetary offers to achieve a desired aim should not be entertained.
If it is important that Halifax has to have a Primark store then why could not sufficient space have been earmarked initially on the Broad Street site to accommodate it. If crossing Broad Street is too far for people to go to Primark then why is it that a cinema, bowling alley and restaurants are to be situated there? Yet another aspect of the hidden agenda?
To many, the remarks of several contributors that Northgate House is “unfit for purpose” are unacceptable. Can a building of 30 years life be so bad that it is cheaper to demolish and rebuild than improve it to today’s standard?
If that question was asked of qualified people in the construction industry we can guess what their answer would be. A side issue springs to mind. Does planning maintenance and renewal ever figure in the Council’s decision making?
It is a sure bet that the flagship offices of the former HBos Bank, which was built in a similar time scale to Northgate House, does not fit the term “unfit for purpose”. Why is that I ask? No hidden agenda perhaps! Or just a planned maintenance and renewals programme and a wiser management!
The public have already spoken on the location of the Central Library.
Let us now put that to bed once and for all and Northgate House with it.