Bluebell Woodland Planning Application, Cragg Road
Posted by Dr David Armstrong
On Friday 17 June, notices for an outline planning application for a residentail development on an area known as Elpin Brook (although application incorrectly refers to area as Cragg Brook) were posted on telegraph poles on Cragg Road. The application is for a virgin bluebell woodland to be destroyed for the sole benefit of Mr. S. Holt. It involves the demolition of an existing house and a new access road way. The immediately adjacent residences knew nothing of the application prior to the application notices seen this weekend! The bluebell woodland has been incorrectly titled Cragg Brook and so may not have been picked up by people. The correct title is Elphin Brook.
It is a substantial piece of woodland that is a key part of the character of the Cragg Road side of Mytholmroyd. The woodland and stream support a vast range of wildlife including bats, herron, kingfishers, even reports of the otter returning( o not the mink!), protected bluebells and other wild flowers, trout in the brook (telling of how clean the water is)...to name but afew.
I would like to bring this application to peoples' attention. If you are concerned and have objections - keep watching as I will hopefully be able to post more info about it all as soon as we get further details. I am asking people not to be complacent about this application. This is a virgin piece of woodland containing protected flowers and wildlife.
Posted by Karen Chapman
Just to add to Dr Armstrong's comments regarding the value of this area in terms of wildlife and conservation, a serious concern for residents is also the potential risk this development poses to flooding within the immediate area. The area to be developed is situated on a small but vital flood plain which allows a great deal of rainwater to soak away during periods of heavy rainfall, when the water level of the stream rises by several feet. If this flood plain is lost there must surely be some impact on the water levels during periods of high rainfall.
This issue is to be discussed on Wednesday 22nd June at 7.30p.m. during a Hebden Royd Town Council Meeting - if you have any concerns about this development please come along to the meeting to voice them and help to show that a significant number of people have serious objections to this development.
Posted by Mr & Mrs Phillip Grimshaw
In response to Karen Chapman and Dr David Armstrong's notices, I wish to add to the comments that my house and my neighbour's house was flooded after flash water levels (4" high flooding-cellars only) less than 4 weeks. I live downstream on Cragg Road. This proves just how prone the river is to flooding the 100 year old houses during the driest season on record. What will happen to the houses/businesses in the centre of the village that are already known to get flooded if Mr. Holt gets permission? The wood/floodland plain here is so important - if it is tarmaced and built upon where is the flood water going to go?
The whole village need to get behind these objectors, don't just leave it to the people on Cragg Road/The Brook.
Please post this message. I do not have a computer but was reading this hebden bridge discussion forum on my granddaughter's computer after she rang and told me that it was on. Thank you very much.
Posted by Anne Handley
"...wildlife including bats, herron, kingfishers"
Add badgers, cuckoos and owls to the list!
This small patch of river and woodland is lovely and quite unexpected, nestled among so many houses and small industrial buildings close to the town.
I've looked at the plans and can't quite work out where the development will be and where the access will be. Are they going to demolish a house on Cragg Rd. to make way for a new access road that goes over the river?
Posted by Karen Chapman
In answer to Anne Handleys question a house is to be demolished on The Brook, a cul de sac off Cragg Road which is situated on the same side off the stram as the proposed development site.
Posted by Kate Faulkner
I do not live in this area (close by in Lancashire), but I come to Hebden Bridge area alot to go walking. I know this woodland under threat. I was horrified to see the discussion about a development on this land. I walk alot via a right of way which goes from Mytholmroyd library right alongside this woodland. The bluebells out this season (just finished now) this year was so beautiful and plentiful. I love to come to Mytholmroyd for this very walk which is quite historic and continues past the place where the infamous John Wesley first began preaching(he founded Methodist church or rather Methodism).
As well as the bluebells I have seen the kingfisher and herron. I have been lead to believe that the bats are also thriving there.
I go on this walk with other ramblers because we can access it very very easily from Mytholmroyd train station/Cragg Vale bus as we only walk on routes well connected by public transport. It is my sole reason for coming to Mytholmroyd, as unfortunately it hasn't got much else to offer (sorry Mytholmroydians!). I will pledge my full support behind the objectors and get writing.
I am told that Hebden Bridge Council will discuss this application tonight (22nd June) at the Council Chambers. The link to the planning application is here.
The Mytholmroyd website will be following events closely .
Posted by Mick
I've just recently (Last Friday!) moved into a house in Cragg Vale. What amazes me is the number of new developments in Calderdale when there is already plenty of property available to purchase.
I think it's time that there is a total freeze on new builds developments however, I'm not opposed to the conversion of existing buildings.
Posted by Pete
This is a thoroughly nasty little planning application. With rising house prices in the Calder Valley we are now witnessing greedy, grubby developers trying to lay their hands on every bit of land they can to try and cash in and make a profit. This application has nothing to do with providing "affordable" housing for those in need ... it is nothing but spivving.
Let us hope that Calderdale Council's Planning Committee has the guts to reject this application for the inevitable environmental damage it would do. Let us also hope that if Calderdale doesn't have the spine to do that, the owners of the house that needs to be demolished for the development to take place either sit tight or, if they ever sell, they make sure that it is not to the infamous Mr Holt.
Posted by Trish
Just to remind people that tonight at 7.30 the application will be discussed at a Council meeting at Hebden Bridge Town Hall. Please also be aware that we have only until 8th July to send objections to the Chief Planning Officer, Planning Dept, Northgate House, Halifax, quoting reference 05/00302/OUT.
There are over 30 species of water, woodland and other birds in and around Elphin Brook, which depend on habitats such as the one under threat for their survival. The kingfisher, dipper, and grey wagtail are among the rarer birds we enjoy that are otherwise seen only on rivers in protected national parks. We must protect the river bank, flood plain and the mature trees from destruction and disruption, or these riches will be lost.
As Gerard Manley Hopkins said: "What would the world be, once bereft of wet and of wildness?"
Posted by Dr David Armstrong
A huge well done to all the objectors to the Elphin Brook/Cragg Brook Planning Application for new housing.
Last night, a succinct, substantiated, detailed and intelligent case was put to Hebden Royd Council, who overwhelming voted to support the objectors. A high number of local objectors came from across Mytholmroyd. Great to see wider support ñ we are all aware of Mytholmroydís flooding history, and this will affect not only those who live around the development but especially those living / trading down stream.
We all still have to put our objections in writing to Calderdale Planning Department before 8th of July. We need all the support we can get to throw this 3rd attempt at development on this site out. So, if you havenít joined in so far, please do so now.
If anyone is reading this with any areas of expertise and maybe an evening to spare to protect this ecologically rich bluebell woodland environment, please get in contact with us.
Thanks to Hebden Royd Council for their unreserved support and ability to recognise that this development is wholly inappropriate.
Posted by Mike Riches
I've read, with interest, the growing opposition to this development and hope it proves to be more successful than the one against the proposal to build 20 dwellings in two blocks on the old Foster Mill site on Victoria Road. The Planning Commitee decided on 21 June they were 'mindful to permit, subject to legal agreement' this application.
This planning doublespeak actually means 'ask not what we can do for you but what you can do for us' Without going quite as far as T Dan Smith, it seems the Planners are happy to encourage developers with big wallets to "invest in the local community" - in this case make an unspecified financial contribution towards education provision at secondary school level. Planning permission will not be granted until this agreement is signed.
Quite how that benefits the people directly affected by this development, the residents of Spring Grove, most of whom are middle aged or elderly, beats me. And how many people actually have any faith in 'legally binding agreements' these days? Especially when it's so much easier for a developer to just trouser the cash and go out of business.
I have no idea how widespread this morally corrupt and somewhat dodgy practice of buying and selling planning permission is but if you need some new park benches or a 20 pence a pee Superloo in Cragg Vale you'd better watch out!
Posted by Lou
At least twenty to twenty five years ago, I remember some really bad flooding in the Elphin Brook/Cragg Road general area, with many cellars of properties on the side of the road being flooded. The bridge (opposite the old Fire Station) was extremely badly damaged. It was subsequently rebuilt a little nearer Mytholmroyd centre. I seem to remember that this was prior to the newer development being built on the demolished mill site across the bridge.
See also: Planning Watch