Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan has successfully completed the preliminary works
In a significant milestone for the Holmfirth Blueprint, we are delighted to announce the successful completion of the Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan (HTCAP) preliminary works, which took place from August to September 2023.
These preliminary works included various critical aspects. This included strict adherence to legislation regarding bird nesting activity. This was required in order to proceed with the vegetation clearance, bat mitigation work and repointing of river walls.
Bird nesting activity
Guided by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), we ensured that no harm came to our avian friends. On August 10, 2023, a bird nesting survey confirmed what we had hoped for. Within the designated work zones, there were no active nests to be found. This careful assessment provided us with the green light to proceed with the preliminary works with the knowledge that we were treading lightly upon the earth, minimising disruption to the birds.
Unveiling what lies beneath: Vegetation clearance
Following the green light to proceed with the preliminary work, the first vital step in the Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan was vegetation clearance. This process, which was completed on either side of the bridge, enabled a visual inspection on the condition of the wall. By removing excess vegetation, it has also significantly enhanced the area visually.
Bat mitigation work
The preservation of local wildlife was an integral part of our mission. Bat mitigation work, commencing on August 14, 2023, was a testament to our dedication to safeguarding these extraordinary creatures and nurturing Holmfirth’s unique ecosystem. Fortunately, we didn’t find evidence of recent roosting activity within these areas. To ensure the ongoing protection of bats, we employed temporary exclusion measures and installed interim bat boxes.
On September 6, 2023, our journey with bats continued on the northern wall. Here, we uncovered only a handful of Potential Roosting Features (PRF), without any recent bat activity. Once again, temporary exclusion measures were our chosen course of action.
Preserving heritage: The restoration of historic walls
Our commitment to preserving the town’s heritage and enabling a new bridge to be built began with the repointing of the river walls. The main reason for repointing was to ensure the structural integrity of the wall so a new bridge can be built next year as part of the main works. The southern wall’s transformation was completed on September 1, 2023, followed closely by the northern wall on September 8, 2023. These walls, steeped in history, have now been rejuvenated, their structural integrity fortified. This has not only preserved the town’s heritage but also allows for a new beginning with the construction of a new bridge. This will be part of the main works scheduled for next year.
Paving the way forward
The successful completion of these preliminary works represents not just the transformation of Holmfirth’s town centre but also the preservation of its natural treasures. We are paving the way for a brighter future, one that embraces both development and ecological conservation.
The Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan has embarked on a remarkable journey. Breathing new life into the heart of our town while safeguarding the natural wonders that make Holmfirth unique. We invite you to join us on this path to progress. Where the past and present harmoniously coexist in the name of a brighter tomorrow.
Next steps for Holmfirth Blueprint
Get ready as we launch the Holmfirth Blueprint. A strategic long-term vision to make the town better and ensure it meets it’s community’s needs. It focuses on improving the town centre, making shopping, and visiting more enjoyable, and reducing the impact of traffic and respond to climate change effects. It also helps us express our town’s identity and think about new ideas to make Holmfirth a great place to live. This plan is a joint effort by the community and the council to create a brighter future for Holmfirth.
Visit our website next week to learn more about how this will make the town even better: Holmfirth | Kirklees Council