Site chosen for ease not to give Piece Hall regeneration a boost

It appears that regarding this new library scheme, that some people are under the impression that this scheme is part of an integrated master plan for Halifax.

This couldn’t be further from the truth, as the site of the former Square Church was chosen, not because it will bolster attempts to regenerate the Piece hall or become part this so called “cultural quarter” which excludes the multimillion pound Broad Street Plaza complex, from what I gather will compromise of a Cinema and several food restaurants.

If this isn’t cultural I don’t know what is? The site of the former Square Church was chosen simply because it was the last remaining, council owned site within close proximity of the town centre which could be built upon.

Hence of its appalling public transport links, even though the proposed location might end up on the main bus route to into Halifax if the railway station was developed so that buses and coaches could pickup and drop off outside the railway station entrance.

This site was chosen simply to bolster the disposal of the “entire” Northgate site despite the overwhelming advantages of retaining whole or part of the site by including this Customer first facility within the existing Central library or within another Library built on the site of Northgate House. So much for making “full use of the buildings it already owns and rents”.

This is quite obvious as a much more suitable site for this new library would be the Burger King site at the other side of the Industrial museum.

This site could quite easily accommodate the Library, Archives, Meeting rooms and the “Archive storage” without the need to scale it down considerably. The acquisition of this site was also suggested within the Halifax TC SPD, for the reason I do believe is that a building as high as the adjacent Industrial Museum would maximize the area available for development, without harming the surrounding environment, which apparently is a “Conservation area” whatever that means?

More clues can be found in the letter written by council leader Janet Battye, published in the Courier on the 29/11/2011 where I quote “As we’ve also been working on plans for the Piece hall, we came to realize that it would be possible to have a new library and archives alongside this – between Square Chapel and the Industrial Museum”.

She might as well have said that “this was the only place for the library to go without having to spend money on acquiring land”.

As acquiring land would cause the costs of this new library scheme to rise considerably and harm one of the key unsubstantiated arguments that it is cost effective to rebuild rather than to refurbish. So it seems that the citizens of Calderdale haven’t been considered within this proposal what so ever!

Michael Bradley