From Nicola M
Thought it should be noted that on the back of the expiring planning application for Walkleys, the company - good old Revegate again - have resubmitted their bid to refit. Whilst the previous application had been approved for 32 apartments, the new application is to consider 51 apartments.
Further information is detailed on Planning Watch.
From Andrew Hall
Thanks, Nicola, for drawing this to our attention.
I really like it! I've taken a look at the sketches and think it looks great. I've even enquired about buying 'off plan'.
The plans show what should be 'affordable' living space. More units mean lower unit cost. Let hope these could even be 'starter homes'!
Good for you Jasper.
Affordable? I think not. Expensive properties with a delightful outlook onto an increasingly congested main road more like. Having said this, with the supply of cheaply built apartment accommodation in Hebden Bridge currently exceeding demand, you may be able to pick up a bargain.
From Lauren B
I am disgusted that yet again there are going to be more ugly apartments built in the Heben area. This town is not Leeds or Manchester and should not be filled with little modern boxes for people to live in. I would like to think that the people of Hebden and Mytholmroyd will get behind the objection of this development as they have with many others. What about the increased traffic flow bought about by 51 extra houses on the already busy Burnley Road? what about the people who live in front and behind the mill who have to wake up every morning and look into peoples apartments? (burnley road is not very wide so it wont be from a safe distance!). and Jasper £200K for a box in amongst 51 other boxes is not affordable.
I am absolutely furious that there is another scheme to take away the character of this grea town and that it is even being considered.
Ahhhhhh yes ... Studio Baad yet again with what looks to be some weird "design features".
No doubt some or all of the other names which are usually connected with Studio Baad will also be involved ... Mango, Fletcher and Clyndes to name just three.
Do we relly want to see these weird and not so wonderful "features" in this area? I am all for redundant mills being converted into apartments if they cannot be of any other use, but can't they be more sympathetic to the surrounding area?
And ... what will happen regarding the very rickety bridge over the river? I am assuuming that at least some of the car parking for the apartments will be where the old car park for Walkleys was.
Do the owners/developers intend to rebuild the bridge to make it safe to both drivers and pedestrians?
From Andy M
Can't really tell a lot from the sketch - but the design appears to make a nod to mill factory design with north facing lights etc. Personally I'd prefer something a bit more adventurous if the site is going to be used for housing.
Out of interest what would people like to see instead of housing?
From Zilla Brown
I agree with Lauren B on this. Having seen the plans I think this is another Studio Baad (good name!) horror... their in-touch approach typified by the yacht shown sailing on the Calder on the plans. The building would maybe be OK in Leeds or Manchester but not at the entrance to Hebden where it will completely overwhelm the surrounding buildings. One of the nice things about driving though that area is the way the valley opens out and the hills can be seen above. One look at this and the ambience would be destroyed - and where did they get the idea for those huge windows?
Then there are the practicalities - 51 apartments = at least 70 more cars. This road is often gridlocked and not just in the evenings now. The area is an accident black spot with more than one death on the road in that area. Any more traffic, even with a revised site entrance (and maybe even lights?), will cause problems and slow things down even more.
The bridge over the river is too narrow for modern traffic and has been missing part of its parapet down to road level for some time as traffic regularily runs into it.
Finally, as others have said, there are more than enough apartments about standing empty. They are not affordable housing.
From Phil A
I totally agree with Lauren and Zilla.
Look at the pictures - they want to knock down half the mill and put a spiky glass and steal atrocity next to the river. This will be the main thing you'll see if you travel in from Mytholmroyd - a great big tacky symbol of soulless capitalism greeting you (probably with a "flats available" sign permanently on the wall).
From Andy M
Or maybe they would see a building that showed the local community embraced modern design rather than living in some sort of heritage time warp?
The main issue seems to be the traffic increase but again, what would people like to see the mill used for, if not for housing?
From Phil A
Even if we agreed it was a matter of taste, the community won't have been embracing anything because it had little to do with them, unless of course lots of people told the council it was a good idea - I don't suppose we'll know. I feel using it for accomodation would be more acceptable if at a lower level - alternative uses such as retail, art studios etc. might be fun but not viable. Did you have an idea Andy?
From Andy M
I agree that mixed use would be a good compromise, providing the retailers/groups were found to fill it, but I can't help feeling that housing is better than nothing...and I'd personally still like to see something completely different architecturally.
Andy M, I read your previous about the town you visited near Zurich (Developing Hebden Bridge 18th June 2007) and it got me thinking.
From Andy M
Jasper are you sure you mean this?!
"I genuinely believe we should keep the character of these areas, however false and contrived they maybe."
Seems a bit contradictory!
Must admit I'm not entirely sure what I'd like to see at Walkleys but I can imagine a much more modern Bridge Street. Some of the houses/shops are ok but if you look back at the steps from the other side of the rives what looks ugly and out of place? Turners for one in my opinion - horrible plate glass, purpole and mock god knows half timbering. Imagine a mix of old and new with wood, glass, stone - terraces over the river, different levels.
Or maybe an emerald city to go with the yellow brick road!
From Zilla Brown
"I really think it will provide a functional funky feature for a funky town." What's the definition of funky when regarding Hebden?
In my view this kind of thinking is one the problems with Hebden Bridge at this moment in its history. Those who know it from years ago will remember its original ambience. A little faded, quiet streets, people just working in the local trades mainly-electricians, plumbers, farmers, shop workers, sewing machinists, textile operatives etc. We never thought about the future of the town, or so called progress, just got on with life.
Suddenly along comes Anneka Rice and her TV program (I think that was the turning point) and the area is pin pointed. Already a few "offcomedens" were living here and they added a zest to the town's mix. The problem now in my view is that the mix has changed too much - once people started talking up Hebden and believing the (frankly) bullshit written about it, people who may otherwise have despised it suddenly felt it was trendy to live there and could afford it.
They may be surprised to find it is still after all a gritty northern town based on past generations very hard work, with all its problems and an underlying population of locals doing the dirty or ill paid jobs. No wonder the "posh" shops fail, the "posey" funky developments end up empty. Who really wants or can afford them? Don't believe everything you read.
I feel Walkeys would be best put to use as units to let for small buisnesses and offices but I guess that wouldnt make the owners enough money.
From Andrew Hall
Zilla - I agree, 'funky' is a horrible word. Looking at my online dictionary, most of the definitions are fairly negative - 'foul smelling', 'overcome with great fear', 'unwashed odour' etc, etc. However, the last definition is 'Characterized by originality and modishness; unconventional'. This presumably is the definition that the proponents of the word would have us believe.
From Andy M
They seem to manage perfectly well throughout Europe and in may other world countries with flats as family homes - not sure I'd want one next to the river though with small children. People in this country view flats as aprtments or slums - a result of misconceived planning and the housing market?
Thanks Christine. So, for the record, can you just confirm that you will back the Walkleys Mill development with its 50 new homes, and by my maths 10 new affordable/social units as a result?
From Christine Bampton-Smith
I have no objections in principle to the development of Walkley's Mill. Any plan, however, has to be carefully considered to ensure it complies with planning regulations, especially with regard to traffic safety. Hebden Royd Council has a right to make recommendations to Calderdale on any plan in our area, but Calderdale makes the final decision and does not always agree with Hebden Royd.
From Tom Standfield
What we need most in this area is more affordable homes for first time buyers. Is this proposal likely to do that? I think not.
Now that Labour, under its new leader, finally appears to be bringing back social housing, I would like to suggest that Calderdale MBC compulsory purchase Walkeys (ideally at no more than the price for which it was acquired plus inflation) and convert the mill into affordable accommodation. But not just accommodation. We need places to work too. So lets have work units there. Commuting is not environmentally friendly. Having more people being able to work locally would mean less traffic and a more pleasant existence for those who no longer have to travel in an out of the valley each day.
When considering this proposal, it is important to bear in mind the reputation of those involved with the application - see earlier posts in this thread.
Walkleys is a large local landmark and resource - so how about having its future the subject of a full and open public consultation?
From Ian M
I will believe in this new social housing when I see it being built. I don't think it stretches the immagination to think this might just be more "New Labour spin". I would also like to suggest that Calderdale MBC compulsory purchase your house and see how you like it. Brings a whole new meaning to "property is theft". Just because you don't like the suggestions for a building doesn't mean you can have it forcibly removed from its legal owners.
From Phil A
Just to let you know that we got a letter today to say that the Walkley's Cloggs Mill application has been refused.