Haworth and Manningham buildings included in English Heritage ‘at risk’ list (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Haworth and Manningham buildings included in English Heritage ‘at risk’ list
Haworth is one of the region’s ten most important sites at risk, heritage bosses revealed today.
Despite attracting local and international tourism, English Heritage has nevertheless placed the Haworth Conservation Area, renowned for being home to the Brontes, on its Heritage at Risk Register 2012 due to a general architectural decline.
The conservation area is one of 40 sites across the Bradford district to feature on the at-risk register published today. It also includes Manningham’s oldest and grandest residence, the Old Manor House, which is described as one of five most at-risk grade II buildings in Yorkshire and Humberside.
Last night, a senior Bradford Council officer insisted the authority is doing all it can to preserve Haworth’s historical importance and said there is “no suggestion” it is suffering from neglect or deterioration, while English Heritage does concede that things are “improving”.
But John Huxley, chairman of Haworth Parish Council, urged English Heritage, the Council and traders and retailers in the area to work together better to save the conservation area from slipping into a terminal decline.
He said he believed there were “good intentions” towards the area to improve things but they could only be done in partnership.
He cited the problem of shopkeepers putting out A-boards in front of their stores. English Heritage wants them removed but retailers say they attract more people along the cobbled streets.
“The relationships are forming and I really believe English Heritage has good intentions towards the place,” said Mr Huxley. “But the opportunities to get businesses to key into it and to get businesses to join up is where English Heritage needs to work more in partnership.
“I don’t want to hit out at anyone but the whole thing at the moment is we keep hearing Bradford Council say we’re the jewel in the crown. If they mean that, they should be investing in our infrastructure.
“They’re proposing through the Local Development Framework to build 800 homes in an area of less than three miles. How can we be a tourist attraction at the same time?”
However, he is hopeful the future can still be bright for Haworth.
“I think there ought to be a project manager who can pull everyone and everything together,” he said.
Robin Copeland, the Council’s team leader for landscape, design and conservation, defended the authority’s efforts in Haworth, saying: “Bradford Council has been working closely in partnership with English Heritage in the Haworth Conservation Area on a number of projects to enhance and preserve its historical importance “We have invested heavily in work such as restoring the stone setts in Main Street and are hoping to part-fund a grant scheme to restore Main Street properties and the listed Old School building to their original appearance.
“The English Heritage ‘At Risk’ register highlights areas which need to be monitored but there is no suggestion that Haworth’s Conservation Area is in danger of losing its unique character, nor are its public areas likely to suffer from neglect or deterioration while Bradford Council is responsible for them.
“We look forward to our continued partnership with English Heritage to ensure a secure future for Haworth’s Conservation Area.”
English Heritage has published the report in a bid to focus attention and funds towards the plight of neglected grade II homes by adding them to the existing register of threatened grade I properties.
There are some 29,000 grade II buildings in Yorkshire, accounting for 93 per cent of all listed buildings in the region, and including them on the register is a step towards trying to secure their future.
Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage planning and conservation director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We put them on on our register in London since 1991 and 96 per cent have been saved.”
He explained that inclusion on the list would help find funding for restoration work from groups such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Manningham Old Manor House in Roseberry Road has been identified as a significant building under serious threat due to its already dilapidated condition.
The at-risk register says: “This significant mid-17th century building is the oldest house in Manningham and is a remnant of the area’s rural origins.”
The report says that recent restoration attempts of the privately-owned property have stalled.