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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Demolition plans at University of Huddersfield get green light

Three buildings will be torn down and one has RAAC in its roof

Huddersfield’s skyline will soon be changing as three university buildings are to be torn down this Summer.

In February, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) reported that a planning application had been submitted to the council from the University of Huddersfield, seeking permission to demolish The Edith Key, Researcher Hub and George Buckley Lecture Theatre buildings, located on the Queensgate Campus.

The Edith Key building dates back to the 1960s and previously housed the university’s music department. More recently, the building has provided research facilities for the School of Human and Health Sciences, according to Discover Huddersfield.

In the planning documents, the university said the inter-linked buildings are “disused” and surplus to its accommodation requirements. It was also pointed out that one of the buildings has RAAC [Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete] in its roof panels.

Since we last reported, Kirklees Council has given the plans the green light, with Saturday, July 20, set as the target start date for work to begin. The demolition is expected to take six weeks in total.

The university’s website says that once demolition is complete, the area will be landscaped to extend green space and enhance developments in the area, including the Jo Cox More in Common Centre and the Barbara Hepworth Building.

Speaking in February, a spokesperson for The University of Huddersfield said: “The University continues to develop in order to deliver the best possible experience for our students and our staff. We have a continual programme of development, refurbishment and from time-to-time a need to demolish buildings and this application is part of that process.

“The three buildings are currently not in use so there will be no impact on students or staff as a result of this change. The next phase of the development part of our programme is of course the opening of the new Daphne Steele building in September of this year, a significant investment for our students, staff and the community of Huddersfield, and the region.”

Named after the UK’s first black matron, the Daphne Steele building at Southgate is the first building at the £250m National Health Innovation Campus. Once complete, it will house the university’s Health and Wellbeing Academy, with specialist clinical teaching facilities and publicly-accessible clinics.

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