Work is progressing fast on The Carding Shed’s new home at a controversial site at Washpit Mill, Holmfirth.
In December last year the Examiner revealed that the site, which is owned by Sheffield-based Prospect Estates, is set to be revitalised with ambitious plans for housing, a hotel and a restaurant .
We also revealed that The Carding Shed which includes the Oil Can Cafe, IK Classic Cars providing vehicle storage and garage services, classic clothing store High Society, arts, crafts and gifts shop, The Hepworth Emporium, and men’s vintage clothing and memorabilia collection The Retro Shed, would all move from its base at Dobroyd Mills, Hepworth, to Washpit Mills along with its 50-strong workforce. Its lease had been due to expire this year.
In May Kirklees planning committee members at Huddersfield Town Hall were told the decision as to whether a 23-bed hotel in the Grade II listed mill, 48 houses, 16 apartments and a restaurant and offices could go ahead had been taken out of their hands and would now be decided by a Government inspector.
While planning permission has not yet been granted for the hotel, restaurant, houses, apartments and offices, planning permission has been granted to owners of the Carding Shed to renovate their section of the building.
A spokesman for The Carding Shed said: “This is an update on developments of our new site, Washpit Mill. We have recently been granted planning permission for the cafe and clothes shop.
“There have been many challenges and resultant delays which have impacted on the progress of the move. This has forced us to focus on the garage section first as there was no need to apply for change of use.
“The move will be a phased development with IK Classics being completed first before work on the cafe can begin in earnest.
“The final pit to be filled caused some issues due to its location in the building. Unlike the other two pits it couldn’t be filled with rubble and we needed to find a more lightweight yet solid base.
“A conversation with an IK Classics regular who is a structural engineer led to the solution – high density, industrial grade polystyrene was used to provide structure without adding extra weight before being topped with concrete.
“This pit had caused delays as we weren’t able to work in that section on the building until it had been filled but once this was completed we could get the rest of the old window covers down from that section of the building and get the rest of the walls up.
“The walls have been going up quickly now that we can move freely, old pipework has been removed from above the pit as well and we are now booking the trades required to finish off the garage section.
“Washpit Mills had been unoccupied for around 18 months before we began planning our move. In that time the trees had been getting badly overgrown, reaching almost to the full height of the windows.
“Cutting them back was a necessary measure to allow us to see what work needed to be done outside, as well as to allow plenty of natural light into the workshop areas.
“This section is also next to the second car park which will be added, so we needed to see what we were dealing with in regards to the space and ground condition. Now we just need to clean out the gutters!”
At its peak, Westwood Yarns Mill provided employment for hundreds of workers.