Last ditch bid to save Hereford heritage site

A LAST ditch pitch to save a Hereford heritage site will go straight to Herefordshire Council’s cabinet on Thursday.

Campaigners fighting for the former Hereford Working Boys Home, now the council’s Bath Street offices, say the site doesn’t have to be a new fire station when the current County Bus Station will do.

The council wants a land swap with Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Authority (HWFRA) that sees the Bath Street offices making way for a new Hereford fire station.

In return, the council gets the current fire station site in St Owen Street as, at this stage, a car park.

On Thursday, cabinet will be urged to hold off on any deal and re-engage with the idea of a Hereford transport “hub” based around the city's railway station - as proposed in the initial stages of  the Commercial Road-Edgar street link road plan.

The fate of the former Working Boys Home is the latest issue to challenge the council over its approach to asset disposal and decision-making.

Hereford Civic Society, which has lead much of the opposition to the land swap, has directly accused the council of not sharing its intentions in its haste to get a deal done.

Both the Bath Street offices and Hereford Fire Station are said to be unfit for contemporary and future operation.

English Heritage rejected an application to have the Bath Street offices listed.

Campaigners for the Boys Home will now make a direct pitch to cabinet on Thursday over the idea of a hub and its “immediate” consideration.

They make a case for a hub at the railway station freeing up council-owned land behind the city’s Odeon cinema for the new fire station - with three access points, the widest of which in Commercial Road being just metres from the eastern end of the proposed link road. 

The Hereford Times has seen a copy of what cabinet will be asked to consider. It’s a plan that puts a “much reduced” county bus station close to the railway station and the National Express stop in a parking bay on Commercial Road.

With the co-operation of the four principal bus operators and Arriva Trains - Network Rail’s tenant at Hereford Station - it should, the plan says, be possible to “plan and execute” the move of the bus services to the station in parallel with fire station's design preparations and needs.

The pitch ends with a call on cabinet to set up a round table of all the interested parties that could make the “ visionary concept” happen.

Comments (6)

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6:29pm Mon 7 Apr 14

bobby47 says...

If some fool staggered up to me and said, 'what would you rather become the owner of, 'The Bath Street building plot or the Fire Station building plot'? I'd say,' given that the bloody Bath Street plot is considerably bigger than the Fire Station plot and consequently, would be considerably more valuable on the open market, I'd say, 'I'll have the Bath Street plot thank you very much. How nice of you to offer'.
Mind, if I was sane, unaffected by ale and handfuls of halucigenics and I had my senses with me, I'd say, not that anyone cares a jot about what I bloody think, 'Why don't you consider another option. Instead of wasting more of our deminishing pile of wealth, build the bloody Fire Station in some other place that requires less expense to the public and less bloody rubble. Why not build this new Fire Station, that we probably don't need anyway, but because some member of the hierarchy says we must have one, then lets build it on the Commercial Road bus station land. '
I mean, we'd avoid the rubble wouldn't we! We are up to our knees in bloody rubble so what's wrong with the Council ditching this current chaotic and badly thought out bucket of pigswill and thinking clearly and stop giving our wealth away for next to nothing.
How can any of this make any sense. It's plain crazy to be even contemplating this transaction. I mean, what is it that compels this Council Cabinet to pick the worst possible option every single time they commit themselves to a decision or transaction. There has to be a reason. For any of you out there who are interested in this latest bag of rancid rats served up by the Brockington suits, go onto Hereford Voice. You'll find a topic covering this very issue that's attracted over four thousand 'reads' and near of four hundred comments, made by people who really do care about the Bath Street site and the Fire Station site.
These people ain't fools. They care. They care a great deal about their home, their City and the bottom of their bloody public purse. This proposition by the Council illustrates yet again the madness that exists within their numbers. Once more, the lurch from one disaster to another never giving anything a backward glance and never learning to simply 'think' before they ruin something else belonging to us.
Bloody Council!
If some fool staggered up to me and said, 'what would you rather become the owner of, 'The Bath Street building plot or the Fire Station building plot'? I'd say,' given that the bloody Bath Street plot is considerably bigger than the Fire Station plot and consequently, would be considerably more valuable on the open market, I'd say, 'I'll have the Bath Street plot thank you very much. How nice of you to offer'. Mind, if I was sane, unaffected by ale and handfuls of halucigenics and I had my senses with me, I'd say, not that anyone cares a jot about what I bloody think, 'Why don't you consider another option. Instead of wasting more of our deminishing pile of wealth, build the bloody Fire Station in some other place that requires less expense to the public and less bloody rubble. Why not build this new Fire Station, that we probably don't need anyway, but because some member of the hierarchy says we must have one, then lets build it on the Commercial Road bus station land. ' I mean, we'd avoid the rubble wouldn't we! We are up to our knees in bloody rubble so what's wrong with the Council ditching this current chaotic and badly thought out bucket of pigswill and thinking clearly and stop giving our wealth away for next to nothing. How can any of this make any sense. It's plain crazy to be even contemplating this transaction. I mean, what is it that compels this Council Cabinet to pick the worst possible option every single time they commit themselves to a decision or transaction. There has to be a reason. For any of you out there who are interested in this latest bag of rancid rats served up by the Brockington suits, go onto Hereford Voice. You'll find a topic covering this very issue that's attracted over four thousand 'reads' and near of four hundred comments, made by people who really do care about the Bath Street site and the Fire Station site. These people ain't fools. They care. They care a great deal about their home, their City and the bottom of their bloody public purse. This proposition by the Council illustrates yet again the madness that exists within their numbers. Once more, the lurch from one disaster to another never giving anything a backward glance and never learning to simply 'think' before they ruin something else belonging to us. Bloody Council! bobby47
  • Score: 16

9:36pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Ubique1 says...

Agree with you Bobby , would add that if theFire Stn was built on the County Bus Stn the County Bus Stn could be located on the Rockfield car park which we all know is very near the Railway Stn.
Just hope that the Council decision makers really think through the whole package in the interest of the Council,Tax payers ,,as they should always do
Agree with you Bobby , would add that if theFire Stn was built on the County Bus Stn the County Bus Stn could be located on the Rockfield car park which we all know is very near the Railway Stn. Just hope that the Council decision makers really think through the whole package in the interest of the Council,Tax payers ,,as they should always do Ubique1
  • Score: 15

10:06pm Mon 7 Apr 14

TwoWheelsGood says...

Here's a chance for the council, or rather, the cabinet, to show some humility and pause awhile to take on board the genuine and deep felt concerns of local people, those that live and work in the city (unlike most of the cabinet), those that put our heritage and streetscape and just plain common sense before a fast buck and a handshake behind closed doors. Lord knows, we've seen enough of that in recent years and it has cost us all dear. That said, 9/10ths of the Bath St deal has been done in secret, so much so that the ward councillor wasn't even consulted.

On the face of it, the proposals by the campaigners seem eminently sensible (and in line with the council's own ESG adopted masterplan) - there may be operational reasons why not, but, lets do the right thing and it out in the open where we can all have a say.
Here's a chance for the council, or rather, the cabinet, to show some humility and pause awhile to take on board the genuine and deep felt concerns of local people, those that live and work in the city (unlike most of the cabinet), those that put our heritage and streetscape and just plain common sense before a fast buck and a handshake behind closed doors. Lord knows, we've seen enough of that in recent years and it has cost us all dear. That said, 9/10ths of the Bath St deal has been done in secret, so much so that the ward councillor wasn't even consulted. On the face of it, the proposals by the campaigners seem eminently sensible (and in line with the council's own ESG adopted masterplan) - there may be operational reasons why not, but, lets do the right thing and it out in the open where we can all have a say. TwoWheelsGood
  • Score: 15

11:30pm Mon 7 Apr 14

dippyhippy says...

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this building should be saved. Whatever your take on this, it should not be a decision taken by folk who do not even live in Our City.
We desperately need more city centre homes, this building, and indeed the fire station , are crying out to be converted. If not housing, then there are many alternative us, just take a look at the Hereford Voice thread!
The bus station is a sensible and viable option. Its completely achievable, and the plan that has been put forward is worthy of serious discussion.
Too many discussions have already taken place behind closed doors.....we have been promised transparency on could tless occasions, let's see me now!
We have a duty to protect our heritage, we can do this AND improve it for the next generation.....my children, your children.....let's work together and find a solution that's best for Hereford and its citizens.

And let's remind them, that elections are only 12 months away!
Now is the time for them to start listening.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this building should be saved. Whatever your take on this, it should not be a decision taken by folk who do not even live in Our City. We desperately need more city centre homes, this building, and indeed the fire station , are crying out to be converted. If not housing, then there are many alternative us, just take a look at the Hereford Voice thread! The bus station is a sensible and viable option. Its completely achievable, and the plan that has been put forward is worthy of serious discussion. Too many discussions have already taken place behind closed doors.....we have been promised transparency on could tless occasions, let's see me now! We have a duty to protect our heritage, we can do this AND improve it for the next generation.....my children, your children.....let's work together and find a solution that's best for Hereford and its citizens. And let's remind them, that elections are only 12 months away! Now is the time for them to start listening. dippyhippy
  • Score: 22

9:34pm Tue 8 Apr 14

bobby47 says...

My source from within reports that this 'idea' is being driven by Councillor Bramer. It's my understanding that if we can persuade him to undo any covert agreements that may have been made during a little chat accompanied by a fine claret then this decision could easily be reversed.
So, if this is right, and it just may be, then its Councillor Bramer who holds all the cards and its he who holds our future in his hands. If this good man could be persuaded to change course, change his mind and listen to the views of the people then perhaps all is not lost.
Mind, I may be entirely wrong. What do I know? I know nothing. And what I do know ain't worth repeating.
My source from within reports that this 'idea' is being driven by Councillor Bramer. It's my understanding that if we can persuade him to undo any covert agreements that may have been made during a little chat accompanied by a fine claret then this decision could easily be reversed. So, if this is right, and it just may be, then its Councillor Bramer who holds all the cards and its he who holds our future in his hands. If this good man could be persuaded to change course, change his mind and listen to the views of the people then perhaps all is not lost. Mind, I may be entirely wrong. What do I know? I know nothing. And what I do know ain't worth repeating. bobby47
  • Score: 6

10:29pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Cambo 1 says...

D-DAY is fast approaching,the old boys home on bath street may not be with us for much longer? this is a realitie & its long turn survival now rest's in the hands of a cabinet who consists of members ,who do not live within the city.
So if those chosen few councillors do decide to weld the excutioner's axe against the old boys home? then we the people of this city will be the biggest losers?! As I fear it will have a long lasting & detrimental effect upon this city's people & landscape,not to mention our heritage!!
D-DAY is fast approaching,the old boys home on bath street may not be with us for much longer? this is a realitie & its long turn survival now rest's in the hands of a cabinet who consists of members ,who do not live within the city. So if those chosen few councillors do decide to weld the excutioner's axe against the old boys home? then we the people of this city will be the biggest losers?! As I fear it will have a long lasting & detrimental effect upon this city's people & landscape,not to mention our heritage!! Cambo 1
  • Score: 1

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