Call to 'list' historic Yorkshire village

CALDERDALE Council's cabinet is to decide whether Northowram village should be designated a conservation area.

At the moment there are 19 conservation areas in Calderdale and a request was made by a former leader of the council, Stephen Baines, in 2007 that Northowram be added to the list.

According to a report by officers: "The village is a good example of a historic rural village, developed in a piecemeal manner though the last 1,000 years.

"The area is important as one of the earliest strongholds of Nonconformism, harbouring philanthropic educational improvements and for developing very early extractive industries in quarrying and mining.

"Consequently, the development of Northowram through the centuries is considered to be of high historic value and as such, Northowram village is considered worthy of conservation area status."

A conservation area appraisal aims to define the qualities that make the area one of "special architectural or historic interest" by looking at the history and physical development of the area so a high seal of approval is needed to meet the exacting conditions.

English Heritage says it is in full support of the designation as a conservation area and West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service notes that some of the archaeology within the village is of regional importance.

It said: "Any evidence of early quarrying surviving is of at least regional importance while the graveyard to Heywood Chapel, given its relatively early date would also be of regional interest. The site of the windmill and 19th century brewery would only be of local interest."

Of the formal consultations received from 29 individuals and organisations 18 approved designation as a conservation area while five were against. Four objections were made by landowners who did not want their property to fall within the proposed area. The cabinet will make its decision on January 10.