Calderdale Council is seeking permission to remove historic Halifax Borough Market hall doors

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Calderdale Council is seeking permission to remove historic market hall doors and place them as a feature next to a new, modern, automatic door system.

If approved, the changes will ensure the set of doors at Halifax Borough Market are fit for 21st century use while retaining them as a reminder to shoppers of the original look and feel.

Calderdale Council has applied for listed building consent to make the changes at the Market Arcade doors, where they are the last of their type remaining in the Grade II* listed building, which itself dates back to late Victorian times.

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The full application, numbered 23/00648/LBC, can be viewed on the council’s Planning Portal.

Halifax Borough MarketHalifax Borough Market
Halifax Borough Market
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The council argues that for Halifax Borough Market to be the flagship market venue it needs to be in Calderdale – and there is a multi-million pound ongoing programme, including some Future High Streets funding, to both purpose it for the future while bringing out historic features – it needs to be as accessible as possible.

Currently the Market Arcade doors, which were put in place in 1900, four years after the building opened, and entrance are not suitable for all users, the doors being of a free-swinging and weighted nature making opening them difficult for anyone with limited mobility, argues the council.

Although the overall loss of doors will harm the heritage of the building, given their poor condition through continued use and likelihood of failure beyond repair being high, the proposed changes would be justified, says the authority.

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Halifax Borough Market.Halifax Borough Market.
Halifax Borough Market.

After considering a range of options, by using the most appropriate historic doors and placing them next to a new automatic door system as fixed decorative screens, a deliberate nod to the heritage and richness of the past would be maintained.

But this would be coupled with a modern and usable set of doors allowing the entrance to function in a way accessible to all, says the supporting document with the application.

The historic doors would undergo preservation work to ensure they look as close to their original form as possible.

This will include replacing perspex repair work to the glazing framing and its hinges, as well as removal of a protective metal sheet, which should uncover joinery details that have been hidden for the last 30 years.