Hebden Royd Council rejects new plans for housing on Linden Mill Bank

Thursday, January 13, 2005

New plans for '10 semi-detached dwellings' behind Linden Mill were rejected at last nights meeting of the Hebden Royd Town Council.

The new planning application for this site, as reported earlier on the HebWeb, comes after a very similar application for housing on the site was rejected in September 2004. The previous plans were unanimously rejected by the Town Council and Calderdale Council as it was felt they did not preserve or enhance the conservation area, in which the site sits, and would lead to the loss of trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders.

Speaking in favor of the new application the architect of the designs, Philip Bintliffe of Studio BAAD (also the architects for the proposed Millpond development) said objections to the previous plans had been taken into account in this new design by adding stone cladding and blue slate roofs to the dwellings. He added that no trees would be lost as a result of the development as they would be legally protected by a clause in the deeds of the houses that would prevent the owners felling the trees.

Gillian Garret, a resident of Rose Grove, spoke against the application and pointed out that serious issues such as highway safety and traffic congestion (no parking is provided as part of the design) in the area, pollution, and the impact it would have on wildlife were still not addressed by this new application. She continued to highlight the fact that an application to fell a significant number of protected trees on the site had already been submitted to the Council - an attempt to remove a significant obstacle to getting any planning application approved.

During the debate by Councillors that followed, it was felt that trees would inevitably be lost from the site due to the proximity of them too the houses and that any legal protection offered by a clause in deeds could be easily overturned because of health and safety issues. The debate also raised reservations regarding the construction methods of the houses, the inappropriateness of the plans as they still did not preserve nor enhance the Hebden Bridge conservation area, and the general unsuitability of the site for any development.

Eleven of the fourteen councillors present voted in support of a motion to oppose the planning application. The remaining three councillors abstained and the motion was carried.

The planning application now goes to Calderdale Council.

Updates will appear on the HebWeb.

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