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These realistic plans need to be recognised
It seems that common sense has prevailed over the future of a major heritage building in Ilkley.
The saga over Heathcote, which was designed by Edwin Lutyens, has ended insofar as that building is concerned.
Approval has been given to turn the listed property on Kings Road into one building.
This will restore the villa to its original intended function, paving the way for future restoration and conservation.
That indeed is good news.
However, there’s still a contentious part of another plan at the site which has to be settled.
The current owners want to transform two cottages – previously used as offices – back into homes, and also fill in an access gate to an external wall on the site.
The Lutyens Trust is miffed – not because they don’t approve of the restoration of the cottages into homes – but because of what they say is the ‘piecemeal breaking-up of the estate’. They reckon the number of applications has no benefit to the historic asset as a whole. They are, of course, entitled to that view.
What does seem to be happening is that the current owners – whose identity we do not know – are coming up with positive and quite realistic plans to keep this gem in the crown of Ilkley. This needs to be recognised.
Change happens – if it didn’t, Ilkley would not have many of the fine buildings and amenities it has, making it into the fine town it is.