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English Heritage mauls plans for Huddersfield's Queensgate Market

English Heritage (EH) has weighed into the row about the redevelopment and partial demolition of Huddersfield’s Grade II-listed 1972 Queensgate Market, claiming the proposals have neither been ‘fully explained nor justified’.

In a letter leaked to the AJ, EH also told scheme-backer Kirklees Metropolitan Council that its current plans – drawn up by Leslie Jones Architects – were of ‘poor’ architectural quality and ‘lacked local distinctiveness’.

The proposals – part of a larger retail-led regeneration project – would see eight of the 21 hyperbolic paraboloid roof-support structures inside J Seymour Harris Partnership’s ‘seminal’ halls destroyed.

EH added: ‘Government guidance does not rule out appropriate intervention provided that the significance of the building is safeguarded.
‘However, the case for a development form that affects the market hall remains to be made.’

This latest salvo follows similar outbursts from the Twentieth Century Society and local campaign group Huddersfield Gem (AJ 26.06.08), which said: ‘This miserable proposal dishonours the most dramatic and original English post-war public building of its time.’

Despite the opposition, the council, which is also the planning authority, refused to alter its plans.

A council spokesman said: ‘In terms of the concept EH have been very supportive of what we are trying to achieve, and have been consulted. Their comments will be taken into account when [the proposals] come before committee on 25 September.’

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