The OLM is due to open soon - an ugly building, which in my opinion will split the city in two, and most certainly have a detrimental effect on High Town.
It has been built with no thought for the environment in which it sits, and is regarded by many as a blot on the landscape.
We have some truly beautiful buildings in our city, and one of them is now at great risk of being demolished. I know many of you will not give two hoots about it, but I do! So much so, that I have challenged myself to write my very first thread!
The Working Boys Home was erected between 1878 and 1895. English Heritage has refused to recommend its listing on the questionable grounds that it is "not sufficiently intact or of sufficient architectural merit". It is within a designated Conservation Area, and is close to several other significant buildings with "Venn" connections. That's John Venn - surely one of this cities greatest ever citizens.
Many believe, myself included, that this building would lend itself to a sympathetic conversion for residential housing, in much the same way as the former General Hospital, and Eye Hospital.
Although I have made several phone calls, and spoken to a number of people, I have been unable to discover if Herefordshire Council has even invited offers from property developers.
Here is where it all gets a tad murky for my liking. Whether you care about this building or not, the following should ring alarm bells.
The notorious "land swap" deal between Herefordshire Council and the Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority has been stitched up, for want of a better phrase, between Cllr Johnson, and a Cllr Podger - who is the chair of Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority.
From what I can find out, this has been without the local ward councillor - Mark Hubbard - either being present, or even consulted!
This is an extremely one sided deal.
HWFA get an enormous 1.6 acre site.
Herefordshire Council get a site half that size, plus the bill for demolishing the existing fire station! Then, yes you guessed it, it will become a surface level car park!
This is not a good deal by anybodys standards!!