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Plan for tower block on site of tenements; Civic Society left 'disappointed'.

Byline: By NEIL ATKINSON News Editor

A HERITAGE group has hit out at plans to get rid of prominent buildings in Huddersfield.

Members of the Huddersfield Civic Society said they were "disappointed" at a decision by Kirklees Council over the tenements in Southgate.

Two of the blocks of tenement apartments have been earmarked for demolition to create space for a new student accommodation hostel block rising to nine floors.

The three remaining blocks will be refurbished - again for student accommodation.

The tenement blocks - standing between Oldgate and Southgate - have been empty for at least three years and were later bought by developers Malik Finance to create student hostels.

The buildings were all designed by the architect Kenneth Findlater Campbell, who was Huddersfield's Borough Engineer from 1897 to 1921.

He had an interesting background, coming from a crofting community near Durness on the extreme north coast of Scotland and is thought to have used his skills solely in Huddersfield.

The five blocks were completed about 1914.

A Civic Society spokesman said: "When the plans were first proposed last year the society raised several objections.

"We regret the council have granted permission to demolish the two larger unlisted blocks, Chantry and Lancaster House, and replace them with a building which reaches nine storeys at one end.

"Could all the blocks not have been renovated?.

"We also feel that the new buildings should have been constructed of local stone, rather than just having minimal stone in its facings.

"We believe local stone would have preserved Huddersfield as a 'stone town'."

CAPTION(S):

SMALL HOMES: The tenements at Southgate, in the foreground, with Oldgate, the Kingsgate shopping centre and Oldgate House behind them. It is planned to demolish two blocks and replace them with a nine-storey student hostel block; NEW PLAN: The tenements in front of Oldgate House, also nine-storeys high, and due for demolition under a separate scheme to expand the Kingsgate shopping centre
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 19, 2009
Words:321
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