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Giant corporation wants to bulldoze Victorian country house for a car park

Multinational company, Syngenta, has submitted plans to demolish a Victorian country house, Dalton Grange.

Multinational company, Syngenta, has submitted plans to demolish a Victorian country house, Dalton Grange. Syngenta has suggested replacing the building, which the local community currently use for events, with a carpark. The Victorian Society has strongly objected to the plans arguing that Syngenta should sell the building instead of demolishing it.

Victorian Society Conservation Adviser, James Hughes, said: ‘Demolishing Dalton Grange for a carpark is wasteful in the extreme. Although Syngenta, which made gross profits of $15.134 billion in 2014, says it can no longer afford to subsidise the building, why not sell the building rather than demolish it? Syngenta’s argument that the building contains asbestos is a non-starter as it would have to be removed before demolition started. Kirklees Council should ensure that this imposing building, still in use by the local community, is not sacrificed on a corporate whim.’

The couple who have run Dalton Grange for over 10 years have now stated that the are considering a legal challenge to the demolition.

Many Councils appear to believe that they cannot act to save an unlisted building. This is not the case - unlisted buildings such as Dalton Grange qualify as undesignated heritage assets. Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local authorities to, among other things, recognise that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and the desirability of putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation. S.12 of the NPPF alone provides Kirklees Council sufficient reasons to refuse the application to demolish Dalton Grange.

Dalton Grange was built in 1870 by prominent local industrialist and former Mayor, Henry Brook, of J. H. Brook & Sons of Bradley Mills (both north and south mills at Bradley Mills are Grade II-listed). The building is a sturdy and handsome essay in baronial Gothic, with a prominent castellated turret providing dramatic views of the building at the end of its drive. Dalton Grange is currently well used by the local community and has bookings into next year.

You can read more about the history of Dalton Grange here.

You can sign a petition to save the building here.

Friday 27 March, 2015

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