Councillors sign off flats plans for Dewsbury’s Pioneer House

HOMES PLAN Pioneer House. (D531L337)
HOMES PLAN Pioneer House. (D531L337)

New homes will be created in part of Dewsbury’s landmark Pioneer House site as part of its ongoing redevelopment.

Councillors this week asked officers to push ahead with a scheme to turn an annex of the Grade II listed building into six flats.

The annex, which sits on the Branch Road side of the site, has been empty for a number of years and was previously used for storage as part of a former mill.

A report considered by Kirklees Cabinet on Tuesday said: “This is the first step to developing Pioneer House. This is the critical building within the Townscape Heritage Initiative, which is pivotal to the wider project area immediately surrounding Pioneer House.

“The proposal is to convert Pioneer Annex into residential accommodation, providing six one-bed apartments. There is limited opportunity for alternative use of the annex.”

Planning permission for the work had already been granted, but cabinet members needed to approve use of government funding, give officers authority to complete the project and move the building from the general fund to the housing revenue account.

The Pioneer Annex is 
one of three council-owned sites where a total of 27 homes will be created after the council won a £2.9m government grant.

A further 98 homes will be created at privately-owned sites whose owners successfully bid for match funding.

Cabinet member Coun Peter McBride (Lab) described the plans as a “win-win” situation. He said: “We are killing two birds with one stone.

“We are investing in people living in towns which keeps our towns alive and we are preserving the buildings by virtue of use.”