Holmfirth Conservation Town
Holmfirth town centre was designated a conservation area in 1972 when all local authorities were required by central government to designate areas within their boundaries with unique historic or topographic significance. The conservation area was extended in 1990 and Holmfirth Conservation Group is intending to recommend a further small addition to include buildings of historic importance.
The following map shows the conservation area, which we have subdivided into seven separate “identity areas”:
This is an interactive map. If you click on the “Visible Layers” icon you will see you can select which layers you wish to view. The map can be expanded by clicking on the + icon. Move the map by holding down left click and moving mouse. Buildings outlined in red are listed Grade II, clicking on a protected tree will reveal the species.
What makes Holmfirth worthy of conservation status?
Its status as a conservation area was a recognised back in 1972 when its qualities as a pennine mill town, little changed since late Georgian early Victorian times, set in a dramatic valley with steep sloping sides on which the domestic architecture with its roofscape of stone slates and chimneys, is a key feature. However it has changed considerably since 1972. Many of the remaining mill buildings have been demolished. Today Holmfirth is mostly defined by its surviving domestic and commercial vernacular achitecture, particularly in the “Old Town”. A glance at the map shows the number of listed buildings in this identity area. This is why we need to conduct the appraisal and preserve what remains.
What are the duties of a local authority towards a conservation area?
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) defines conservation areas as: “areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.” The Act requires all local authorities to conduct an appraisal of all its conservation areas.
A formal appraisal has never been done of Holmfirth because of the lack of resources – a conservation appraisal is a costly exercise in terms of manpower and funds – and Holmfirth is a large densely built area of 0.5 sq km with approximately 550 buildings and 38 grade II listed buildings and monuments. We are therefore relying on our community of voluteers to drive this project.
An appraisal is not only required of Holmfirth’s built environment but also of all its parks, open spaces, roadscape, and trees.