UPDATE MAY 2018

The facility is operational and the white plasic downpipes have been changed, possibly due to the shouting of  many Herefordians. Herefordshire Council could have done better on this prime site; remember it cost twice as much as it should have done due to incompetence - Two million instead of one!

 

ORIGINAL POST

This application was fully described in PLACE Summer 2016 (p6). It refers to the existing planning office and a proposal to turn it into an industrial looking building on our premier boulevard.

In spite of spirited presentations by Steve Kerry, the Hereford City Council clerk and John Bothamley, chairman of HCS, the planning committee granted consent for Herefordshire Council’s own building on 14th September 2016.

Clearly a political decision as most councillors spoke against the proposals.

  •  “poor option”

  • “not ideal”

  • “can do better”

  • “only a marginal improvement”

  • “not the building we would want”

  • ”medium term solution” 

And then voted in favour of consent! 

 

The ward councillor, Polly Andrews, reminded the meeting that money was available “although this is not a planning matter”; so why did she mention it.  Cllr. Baker reminded the meeting that there was no political whip.

Some relevant facts:

  • A clapped out building and a proposal that almost the entire planning committee condemned during debate.

  • Only a four page Design and Access statement – less information than is usually required.

  • No reference to the conservation area.

  • The ESG report for the development of Blueschool Street entirely ignored.

This decision is clearly wrong for the City.  It is classic Hereford short termism.  There was a vision that HC doesn’t work to because of a short term and doubtful financial benefit.  This is vandalism on a grand scale – an industrial building on Hereford’s best city centre site. 

This is not a joke : Planning officers have been on a Colourisation Course to assist them in deciding the colour of the new cladding. (Only those in the public gallery found this highly amusing, councillors took it all most seriously). It involves considering the colour of local buildings and then some magic formula suggests “on the red spectrum”.  HC is spending money on this sort of indulgence using a “consultant” whilst slashing spending on essential services. We try not to condemn officers who have limited opportunities to defend their actions but this extravagance is unacceptable.

Blueschool

House

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Hereford Civic Society is an independent local charity representing people who care about the city.Registered Charity No 503504

All material is not necessarily the view of the Society, which primarily acts as a forum for discussion around built environment matters, past, present and future.