Holmfirth Conservation Group

Why is the community conducting the appraisal itself?

  • Although protecting the unique characteristics of a conservation area is enshrined in the defined duties of LA’s by central government, and is overseen by Historic England – Kirklees Council, like many other local authorities, do not have the resources to conduct an appraisal at this time.
  • The historic significance of the town is gradually being eroded. Indeed, in 2009 Holmfirth was designated a conservation area “At Risk” and in decline, by Historic England.
  • A conservation appraisal of Holmfirth will provide a greater focus on planning applications to ensure conservation objectives are met, and could reverse Holmfirth Conservation Area status as “At Risk” and in decline.
  • The power of the community working together to produce the appraisal and management plan with a shared understanding of what we value and how we want Holmfirth to develop.

What are the implications for a property owner?

  • There are development controls which are often ignored by owners who don’t know they live in a conservation area or choose to ignore it, and by Kirklees because they don’t have an Appraisal to inform them or the resources to enforce it. Reinstatement of features is encouraged when maintenance to the property becomes necessary.

What are the advantages?

  • The contents of the appraisal will have to be considered in any future planning applications
  • The community of Holmfirth will have a shared understanding of its conservation area and its obligations to preserve and enhance it.
  • The community of Holmfirth will have worked together to use the outcomes of the appraisal to make a wish list to inform Kirklees of the aspirations of the community
  • The CAA will be used by Kirklees to formulate a management plan which will inform future planning to preserve and enhance the conservation area of Holmfirth.
  • The CAA will provide the evidence base for Holme Valley Parish Coouncil’s Neighbourhood Plan to support the aspirations of local residents and the Local economy.
  • Holmfirth Conservation Town will be able to apply for funding to realise its aims and objectives.
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