Field House is an impressive building confronting every visitor arriving in Dewsbury by rail.
Which is why Peter Mason, owner of Mood Developments, snapped it up at auction recently.
Field House is his second investment in Dewsbury where work is about to start on his first venture to refurbish and bringing back into use the traditional Black Bull pub in Dewsbury Market Place.
Field House Condemned!
Which explains his groan of frustration when the seemingly unstoppable Dewsbury rumour mill whispered in his ear that Field House had been condemned!
"Not true!" he exclaimed - and just to prove the point he gave us a sneak peek at his architects illustrations of how he envisages turning Field House into a premier residential location.
With it's fantastic location directly opposite the railway station the plan is to produce a residential development optimised for the commuter working anywhere on the Manchester -Leeds route without having to pay big city prices - or even those who just like living in Dewsbury!.
Restaurant & cafe
With a quality restaurant and cafe incorporated, Field House will be convenient not only for residents but also for people living or working anywhere on the Manchester-Leeds route who might choose to meet in Dewsbury as a half way meeting point with great facilities.
Residents can, of course, choose to work anywhere on the Northern Powerhouse rail axis and be within easy commuting distance and even change jobs without ever having to move from their home in Dewsbury.
Although all the flats to be developed in the building will be of high quality, the key feature of the Field House development is the addition of an extra floor to the building to provide for several prestige penthouse apartments.
There has been some concern among residents that the general planning strategy of converting the Daisy Hill area to residential use would lead to an excess of low value, 1 or 2 bed flats. Whereas Field House is intended to make a statement as a flagship development for Dewsbury.
The front entrance pavement area is going to benefit from all of the pedestrian traffic arriving by rail and walking into town right past the front door and the restaurant/cafe entrance is emphasised in a stylish way consistent with the overall design.
Proposed view looking south down Wellington Street
Existing view looking south down Wellington Street
Listed building requirements
As a Grade II listed building the development of Field House needs to make its way past both the planners and Historic England, the guardians of listed buildings.
This is where the new mansard roof is intended to blend the roofline into neighbouring buildings while being clearly identifiable as being 'of their time'.
Similarly, the striking and very modern treatment of the windows are clearly modern while not detracting from the original thereby meeting the criteria of being obviously different from the original while contributing to the development.
And contrary to the usual approach of making a building look splendid at the front but neglecting the appearance of the back, the rear of Field House demonstrates a much improved approach making it an attractive contribution no matter what angle you view it from.
Heritage Action Zone
The Historic England Heritage Action Zone announced last December focuses on the work necessary to prepare the Daisy Hill area for conversion to residential use.
To have a private developer provide a lead to kick start this process and set the standards that we hope the rest of the area can follow is to be welcomed.
Killing the rumours
Peter wanted to put the community's mind at rest about the rumour that came to his ears. But also asked us to stress that the design of Field House is still in development along with continuing discussions with the planning department and Historic England.
No planning application has yet been made and will not be made until everyone is in agreement with the best way forward.
However, from the community's point of view it is to be hoped that the planners can be as positive about this project as we are. It's time for us to start being the best instead of wallowing in a sense of pessimism that some people seem to enjoy so much.
What do you think?
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