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Bronte village on 'at risk' register
Haworth is one of the region’s ten most important at-risk sites, heritage bosses have revealed.
English Heritage has placed the Haworth Conservation Area on its Heritage at Risk Register 2012 due to a general architectural decline.
The conservation area is one of 40 sites across the Bradford district to feature on the latest version of the annual risk register.
Also classed as under threat are Waterloo Mill in Silsden, Low Mills in Keighley and St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Haworth.
A senior Bradford Council officer this week insisted the authority was doing all it could to preserve Haworth’s historical importance and said there was “no suggestion” the village was suffering from neglect or deterioration.
English Heritage does concede that things are “improving” in the village, which attracts tourists from across the world due to its links with the Bronte sisters.
John Huxley, chairman of Haworth Parish Council, urged English Heritage, the Council and traders to work together to save the conservation area from slipping into a terminal decline.
He cited the problem of shopkeepers putting out A-boards in front of their stores. English Heritage wants them removed, but retailers say they attract more customers.
Mr Huxley said: “The relationships are forming and I really believe English Heritage has good intentions towards the place. But the opportunities to get businesses to join up is where English Heritage needs to work more in partnership.
“We keep hearing Bradford Council say we’re the jewel in the crown. If they mean that, they should be investing in our infrastructure.
“I think there ought to be a project manager who can pull everyone and everything together.”
Robin Copeland, Bradford Council’s team leader, landscape, design and conservation, said: “We have invested heavily in work such as restoring the stone setts in Main Street and are hoping to part fund a grant scheme to restore Main Street properties and the Listed Old School building to their original appearance.”
English Heritage has published the report in a bid to focus attention and funds towards the plight of neglected Grade II properties by adding them to the register of threatened Grade 1 properties. The organisation said there were 29,000 beautiful or historic Grade II buildings in Yorkshire and including them on the register was one step towards trying to secure their future.