Wednesday, December 14, 2005

HEBDEN ROYD TOWN COUNCIL this evening gave a big thumbs down to plans to build on the Mill Pond.

Residents and other concerned people from the town crowded into the Council Chambers this evening to show their opposition to the proposals put forward by the Green Tops consortium: Studio Baad, Mark Clyndes and Phil Bradby of Mango Developments. There was standing room only.

Calderdale Council have so far received 117 written objections, and have been presented with a petition containing 1200 signatures.

Cllr Michael Elder, in the Chair, informed the meeting that the Calderdale planning officer had raised concerns about -

  • the loss of trees and the TPO

  • the open amenity designation

  • part of the site being in the conservation area

  • that the site had an exisiting footpath

Cllr Elder said that t he Environment Agency had objected because of drainage issues related to the site.

Dr Jane Thomas spoke on behalf of the residents. She presented councillors with a 23 page illustrated booklet outlining residents' objections, and argued that the Mill Pond was not a brownfield site so not available for housing; that there was a previous planning condition from when permission was given to build houses in Spring Grove that the Mill Pond not be touched; that the TPO would need to be removed by the correct legal procedures prior to the granting of any permission.

Dr Thomas also handed round photographs to illustrate the overdevelopment of the site, the potential loss of open space and intrusion to the privacy of residents and especially to the bedrooms on Spring Grove, and she highlighted the serious concerns with the exisiting stability of the site: whether it could actually bear a roadway, houses and pond without destabilising the houses surrounding the site.

The Chair pointed out that he believed from some general research that the constuction of a pond/dam would be a hazard to the houses on Spring Grove due to the risk of flooding and that the insurance on the houses could become void.

Cllr Dave Young who added that the events of Chainsaw Tuesday was not the correct way to build support from the residents for any development of this land. He drew attention to the 1988 planning condition made when Spring Grove was built that the site should remain an open amenity area and he also pointed out the danger of this development to the houses on Spring Grove. He recommended objecting to the planning application.

No-one attended from the Green Tops consortium to argue in favour of their proposals.

The application will now be heard by the Planning Committee of Calderdale Council in the New Year.

See www.greenmillpond.co.uk for more background to this whole issue.

The Mill Pond as it was, and now may be again.
Bounded by Windsor View/Road on the top side,
Spring Grove to the right and the
River Hebden Water to complete the triangle.


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