We have discovered that Wakefield Council has submitted a planning application to demolish the old Redoubt building. The demolition is planned to start on the 12th September.
The building dates back to circa 1900.
The Council are saying that they are demolishing the building as it is unsafe and unmaintainable.
- Where is the public consultation?
- It does not seem to be a coincidence that plans for the demolition have been submitted when there are plans for the new housing development and that its so close to the new housing development.
- They haven't, to our knowledge tried to sell the building - surely land with a building on is of more value than just land.
- We can't believe it is in such a state, it hasn't been closed that long.
- The buildings are of historical significance - should be preserved.
- Surely less costly to secure properly than to demolish.
- The building is in character with its neighbour - any replacement would not be.
- Is there another reason why they are demolishing the building?
- Is the real plan to use it as access for the proposed housing development - the Council could build a large access road and close off Milton Road.
- If the plan is to use it as access for the proposed housing development then this access would be directly (less than a few yards) from the school.
- If the plan is to use it as access for the proposed housing development then a larger part of the playing fields will be taken away forever (estimate more than half) to use for the new housing.
- The building is directly at the side of the school.
- Why can't the school use it?
- Does this indicate the real plan for the future of the school as the school building is the same age/construction as the Redoubt - the school will be demolished.
- The children will be present at the school when the site is being demolished - this is not safe. If it is to be demolished then the demolition date should be moved to a date when children are not attending school.
- The building was used as sporting amenity by local residents and for changing facilities for the playing field. It should be replaced with another building to be used as a sports amenity for local residents and use of the playing fields.
- The Council's policies are supposed to support sports amenities and the use of green areas for local residents - where is the Council's support or plans to support the playing fields green area?
Gary (one of the groups founding members) has submitted an objection to the Council's plans to demolish The Redoubt.
Here is his objection:-
"I object to the demolition of the old Westgate Redoubt building.
This is a large building and very much in character with the neighbouring school. One of the Spatial Objectives set out in the Core Strategy document is (Section 5.6 - 9b) "To protect and enhance the historic heritage, character and identity of the individual settlements of the district by ensuring that the buildings and open spaces which create character are protected, maintained and enhanced". This building certainly provides character to the surrounding area, and I believe it should be preserved.
The planning application states that "the building is not suitable for current educational standards/requirements" and that the building has "been regularly targeted by vandals and trespasser's". These are not good reasons to simply demolish a building. The building can be developed to a better standard, and the security improved. Doing so would be more inline with Core Strategy Policy CS10 which states that "Improving our places through raising the quality of the built environment is one of the Community Strategy's underpinning challenges and also a key part of urban renaissance. The design of buildings and spaces will be improved and opportunities for crime reduced."
Section 4.6.1 of Wakefield Council's Sustainable Development Guide (SPG 5) also states that "Buildings are more than just a collection of materials. They contribute to the street scene and to a sense of place. With greater emphasis on the re-use of previously developed land and existing buildings, it should always be a priority to consider the re-use of existing buildings. This can offer opportunities to improve and modernise standards of insulation, heating, lighting and ventilation and minimise the use of new materials." The site is of more value with the building than without, and efforts should be made to sell or lease the building to enhance the services and jobs available in the local area.
The proposed start date of the demolition is 12th Sept 2016. This seems very bad timing as pupils at the neighbouring primary school will just have returned from a six week holiday break, which would have been a much better time to perform such disruptive work. If permission is to be granted for this demolition, then it should be delayed until July/August 2017 when the school is on a break. "
Here is the link to the application on the Council's website:- https://planning.wakefield.gov.uk/online-applications/centralDistribution.do?caseType=Application&keyVal=OBC9V2QQKBU00
Please feel free to also put your own objections in to the Council.