Hebden Royd Council Support Residents

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Two controversial planning applications rejected

It was standing room only at this month's meeting of the Hebden Royd Town Council. The Council chamber was packed to overflowing to hear the the Council's decision on two controversial planning applications, both of which were not approved.

The first application to be heard was the plan to demolish the Tin Tabernacle, Unity Street (for background see the previous HebWeb article and the update).

Local historian, Jill Liddington made the case against the plans citing the loss of an important historical building and the effect building new houses would have on the local street scene, unchanged from Edwardian times.

No-one spoke in favor of the demolition and a motion was passed to oppose the application.

A motion was also passed to oppose the application to fell 5 trees subject to a group Tree Preservation Order and prune 5 others on Linden Mill Bank on grounds of "insufficient information" presented to the Councillors.

Architect Philip Bintliffe, co-owner of the land with David Fletcher, (and who together form the 3045 Group) spoke in favor of the work and told the councillors that the work was required as part of the maintenance of the land.

Rose Grove resident Gillie Garret spoke against the application pointing out the fact that the arboriculturist's report commissioned by the landowners (which said the trees were "average") was not enough reason to chop the five trees down.

This point was backed up by Councillor Dave Young who noted that nowhere in the reports on the trees (one from the applicant and one from Calderdale Council) was there any mention of disease in the trees or of them being dangerous. Also there was no mention of any replanting of trees in the application (something required by a TPO) he said.

After some debate by the Councillors they felt that the tree reports did not contain enough information about the condition of the trees for them to approve the felling of the trees.

This application to "fell and prune" the trees on Linden Mill Bank came ahead of the new planning application by the 3045 Group who own the land to build 10 'eco-dwellings' on the site, a plan that is strongly opposed by the local community.

The previous planning application for the land was rejected earlier this year, one of the main reasons being the damage caused to the protected trees on site. It is felt by the local residents that chopping the trees down on the site is an attempt to remove a significant obstacle to getting the permission to develop the land.

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