Quirky 100-year-old house to be demolished to clear way for 15 new homes

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A 100-year-old house in Wyke IS to be torn down despite being given a stay of execution last month.

The dilapidated building, known as Fieldhead, on Westfield Lane in Wyke, is on part of 1.7 acres of sloping land that is earmarked for up to 15 homes as part of a housing scheme submitted to Kirklees Council.

Members of the council’s Strategic Planning Committee (Sept 16) voted 5-1 to allow it to be demolished.

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One did so “with a heavy heart” whilst another urged for the retention of mature trees on the periphery of the site.

A 100-year-old house at Wyke, which will be pulled down to make way for 15 homes. (Image: Andy Catchpool)A 100-year-old house at Wyke, which will be pulled down to make way for 15 homes. (Image: Andy Catchpool)
A 100-year-old house at Wyke, which will be pulled down to make way for 15 homes. (Image: Andy Catchpool)

The decision to approve demolition came after planning officers said the elderly owners of the house could no longer afford its upkeep and wished to move to more appropriate accommodation.

They intend to sell the land for housing to raise funds to be able to move elsewhere.

An indicative design shows 15 houses on a cul-de-sac with the removal of all trees on site.

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Planning officers said Fieldhead, which was owned in the 1940s by the textile manufacturer Arnold Gladstone Sladdin, had “no legitimate heritage value” and was in a state of “general disrepair”.

Mr Sladdin was the managing director of Sladdin’s mill in Rastrick, near Brighouse.

A report to the committee said: “Whilst the design is attractive, there is nothing particularly remarkable about it.

“It has also been much altered and extended. It therefore has only moderate architectural interest.”

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It acknowledged it may have “slight historical interest” for its association with AG Sladdin.

Coun Andrew Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) lamented the loss of the house.

“I do think it’s a pity that we lose buildings of this sort whether they can be designated as heritage assets or not. There are no other houses like it on that road and I think it’s unfortunate that we’re going to lose it if this is put through.”

Coun Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) said the committee was “stuck in the middle”, adding: “They don’t have the funds to repair it and we are in desperate need of housing.”

She voted for demolition “with a heavy heart.

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“I do think the building is quite quirky and is something that local people think a lot about.”

Her colleague Coun Carole Pattison (Lab, Greenhead) said she did not think the house was worth saving and favoured the site for additional housing.

Voting in favour of demolition: Clrs Donald Firth, Steve Hall, Carole Pattison Cathy Scott, Mohan Sokhal,.

Against: Clr Andrew Pinnock.

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