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||| Press Release 3 June 2006 |||
Former Huddersfield Co-operative building at risk of demolition - Huddersfield Gem warns
The 1937 extension of the Huddersfield Cooperative, in a conservation area, is in peril following a planning application to demolish it.
The former Co-op is a handsome composition and a very good 1930s commercial building with interesting detailing. The architect for the building, W A Johnson, was Co-op's house architect and designed a number of very good modernist buildings for the company, including the 1935 Bradford Co-op which was recently listed at Grade II.
The Huddersfield Co-op building was assessed for listing in 2005 and even though it was turned down its merits are significant and its massing and elevations contribute significantly and positively to the Conservation Area. The building ought to be reused and we believe that it could be converted for a number of uses.
It would be wasteful and unnecessary to demolish the building only to replace it with a much bigger building which would not respond to the site as well as the existing building does; the Co-op turns the corner by means of an iconic window.
The report by English Heritage written in response to the listing process request stresses that 'the Huddersfield Cooperative (performs) an important visual role in its locality'. English Heritage also say that 'it is sufficiently well protected by its position in a conservation area'. We sincerely hope that English Heritage are right and that Kirklees will turn down this application for demolition.
Huddersfield Gem member and architect, Adrian Evans said, "The former Huddersfield Co-op is the first and best example of a truly modern building in Huddersfield and is a very good 1930s commercial building. The building succeeds on a many levels. It makes a subtle and well mannered civic response to both street and as a landmark in the wider townscape. It is also a very fine essay in British modernism; a rare thing particularly in the North and especially unusual in stone.
"It would be an outrage to loose it to have it replaced by a mundane nine storey block."
The application for demolition that has been submitted to Kirklees Council by How Planning on behalf of owners, City Block Development Ltd is for 103 New Street (Former Co-op Building), Huddersfield, Ref: 2006/92616.
We encourage local people to make their feelings known by either email to email@example.com or writing to Civic Centre 3, Huddersfield, HD1 2JR by 24 July.
Another Huddersfield Gem member, Christopher Marsden said, "We are keen to hear from people with memories of the building and what it means to them. For many years it played an important role in the commercial, social and artistic life of the town."