Appealing listed building status considered to push through Halifax regeneration scheme

Artist impression of the Piece Gardens
Artist impression of the Piece Gardens

Calderdale Council is considering its options following the listing of a building it had earmarked for demolition as part of a multi-million project that is a key component of major transformation works.

The council’s improvement works for Halifax town centre and the A629 route include creating a new public area called the Piece Garden opposite the Piece Hall and improving bus, cycle and pedestrian facilities.

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The works form the second of five phases of a comprehensive scheme to provide a multi-modal transport corridor between Halifax and Huddersfield and represent around £2.9m of investment from the council and partners including the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

But the scheme, particularly the Piece Garden, includes demolition of 31 Square Road, Halifax – known most recently as the Hughes Corporation.

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The building, which dates back to 1864, has now been given Grade II listed status by Historic England.

Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden), Calderdale’s Cabinet member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, said the council was weighing up the situation in the light of this.

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“We note the decision of the Secretary of State and are considering our options including appealing the decision,” he said.

“The council is dedicated to delivering a project that improves accessibility to Halifax town centre for all residents and visitors, helping us to progress our ambition for regeneration and growth in Calderdale.”

The planning application has already been referred to the Secretary of State for Housing, Community and Local Government for determination.

When Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee considered the application two weeks ago, they were told to make their decision regardless of the pending listing.

They were minded to approve the plans, which were opposed by Historic England and the West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service as well as other groups including Halifax Civic Trust and Halifax Antiquarian Society, who were particularly concerned over the loss of the Hughes Corporation building.

The building was originally a pair of wool warehouses designed by John Hogg for Isaac Cooper and John Crossley, on a triangular plan and faced with buff sandstone.

Historically, it is associated with prominent Halifax industrialist and philanthropist John Crossley.

It has a strong visual and functional relationship with other nearby buildings including Square Chapel, the Piece Hall, India Building and buildings on Deal Street, says Historic England.