What is obvious from reading through many of the posts here is that the development of new housing of any kind is not welcome in the area. However, there are buildings which are currently run down and admittedly require some kind of construction work and development. The most popular option seems to be to develop these buildings as dwellings, however there must be other options which are just as economically viable and far more creative. Plus it would be good to see developers taking more of an interest in the unique community spirit in the area, perhaps catering more towards the requirements of the town.
We cannot stop progress, the question is - what would we prefer to see in the area instead of new housing?
From Giles M
I am not against conversion of disused buildings for housing at all. Buildings that are empty seem to have a detrimental effect on areas far more reaching than their own perimeter walls.
If not housing, I would like to see something that creates employment. For that we need to understand what services/ shops/ facilities people in HB need but currently get from elsewhere.
Things that I go elsewhere for are... my job & associated spending - lunches etc, food markets open at weekends (Halifax), reasonably priced clothing to name a few. One of the problems I have come up against trying to work in HB is that whilst people are happy to hassle me for free advice under the premise of being friendly, they are not prepared to pay for any of my services... I even have several past customers who avoid me now as they know they have not paid up ...although they are often keen to ask for my signature to sign petitions for injustices far away from home.
Good luck with your ideas... we should welcome them all!
From Tom Standfield
Martin, you say "We cannot stop progress". But what is progress? There are an infinite number ways the town could develop. The statement "We cannot stop progress" assumes there is just one way, usually that proposed by those who have power and money.
Hebden Bridge has a reputation for being an arty and offbeat community of alternative types. Let's progress from there.
Those who have given their energy and time to opposing some of the more crazy suggestions for development should be applauded. And just because people oppose particular developments, this does not mean they oppose development in general.
My priorities would be keeping parts or all of some old mills as workplaces - this would also help reduce the need to commute, cutting down traffic - and affordable housing.