Many Saltaire residents are dismayed and disgruntled at the local council's decision to allow Shipley College to demolish greenhouses in their horticultural studies garden to construct a new teaching block, specifically for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. The design has been modified after public consultation - an artist's impression of the building is here - but lots of people still aren't happy. This area is not actually part of the World Heritage Site (or Salt's original village), though where I was standing to take the photo is.
To the left of my photo is Salts Mill, some allotments and Caroline's (the local club, itself a bit of an eyesore, though serving a very worthwhile community purpose). There are concerns that the new build will spoil the views and will be too modern and not in keeping with its surroundings. The architects are a firm based within Saltaire and noted for contemporary eco-builds. They and the planners counter that an obviously modern building, built to sustainable principles, will be better than a 'pastiche' of the older buildings in the area, including the College's Exhibition Building shown in my photo.
The area it will be built on is currently a garden and rather pretty when you get inside it (see here and here) - but it is not open to the public (apart from at festival times as part of the Open Gardens days) nor even very visible, because of the high hedge.
|An aerial view of the site (bottom left), taken from the top of Salts Mill chimney|
I can see reason on both sides and I'm glad it's not me that has to make those kinds of decisions!