Discussion Forum

Any chance for newcomers?

Posted by Laura Sumner
Wednesday, September 7, 2005

My husband and I have recently been researching the possibility of building our own home, due to various economic factors (such as two people with professional but fairly low salaries being unable to afford even a 3 bed semi-detached!). In looking around, we found land without planning permission in the area around Hebden Bridge.

Yes, it is a beautiful area, and it would be a shame for it to be ruined by the construction of many more houses, but is there truly not room even for a few more? I would be interested to hear your comments, negative or otherwise.

The land in question is along New Road, a short way from The New Delight.

Posted by George Hills
Wednesday, June 29, 2005

There's plenty of room for more houses, although the "I've got mine, you and everyone else can live in a ditch for all I care" brigade will never admit it.

The road from Hebden Bridge to Heptonstall, past the Fox and Goose, used to have rows and rows of houses along it for instance.

The biggest problem is the road. The A646 is already loaded to capacity. There's nowhere to put another road, little to do to increase its capacity, and it's full.

Posted by Patsy
Thursday, September 15, 2005


You said it! The Halifax-Burnley road is (and will remain) a serious reason why further housing development should be closely monitored. Not to mention school places, emergency services, eco-corridors etc., etc. We moved here 33 years ago (when the mills were in their death throes and all was doom and gloom) and the road was a 'problem' even then. Now it's become a sort of bonus - a strong factor against overbuilding. As the road is neatly squeezed alongside the canal, river and railway line it looks as if that will save us all from the suggestion of a horrible by-pass.


I sympathise with your hopes and dreams. We have two daughters who were lucky enough to grow up in this lovely area. Like many locally born-and-bred people they would love that their own children could experience a similar childhood here, but house prices mean that many just cannot afford to stay. If we were starting up again we couldn't afford to pay for the house we live in. It's a worse problem in other parts - pity the young in the West Country.

I think that the Buy to Let crowd have a lot to answer for in snapping up houses whose rents go towards their retirement funds or whatever - and/or their Spanish Villas! How many other towns the size of HB can boast a dedicated rental agency?

My husband and I are not members of the "pull up the drawbridge brigade" but at the same time we feel that there has to be a strong control of future developments - of all sizes. Other people are thinking like you "our one house won't make any difference" but lots of "one" houses add up.

I've no easy answer to your problem other than my best wishes that you'll find a good home some day. Regards, Patsy X PS: What d'you mean, EVEN a 3 bedroom semi- detached???!!!

Posted by Laura Sumner
27th September 2005

Hmm, I actually meant 2 bed! Was getting confused - we currently rent a 3 bed, would be nice not to have to lose one of the rooms, but obviously owning our own home would be a step forward, either way.

It is precisely the 'lots of "one" houses add up' that is causing a problem for us, as potential house builders. There are so many sites where one house would be fine, and a planning application would be accepted, if it were not for the fact that it sets a precedent. Once one is accepted, they'd all have to be, or it is unfair. We understand perfectly why this is the case, and unfortunately, it looks like our idea will fall flat, at least in this particular area.


On the other hand, if these individual cases *were* being accepted, my recent research seems to indicate that the sites would pretty much all be gone by now anyway! Looking in a wider area (with less protected or constricted bits!), it would appear that we are just a little too late for finding the land to be easy.

The one thing about the situation that actually annoys me is that development companies, with good financial backing, seem to be the only ones able to get planning permission right now! This comes back to the old 'money makes money' thing, as they can afford to buy swathes of land, apply for permission, and sell the land off at their leisure, if it is not granted. We can only afford to buy one piece of land, apply for permission, then wait until we have sold it before trying again. Also, buying large chunks of land tends to be much better value, another fact that is hindering us!

One minor positive thing we have found - I had not realised that some companies actually offer mortgages for helping to buy the land itself, so if a suitable site with planning permission already granted (thus raising the price many times) does appear, that is not out of the question!

All in all, although we'd love to live in the area, maybe it's best not to wish for the start of a landslide increase in housing. We may have to simply be content with having holidays here!