Steep Fields Messages


Mark Clyndes and Mayroyd

The Mill Pond is by no means the first time Mark Clyndes has been involved with planning applications. As many people know he also attempted to develop the Mayroyd site.

He was accused by councillors in articles published in the Hebden Bridge Times of "double dealing", attempting to discuss the application outside of comittee and by "playing one member of the committee against another" - actions which were "out of order" in the view of another councillor.

As part of the same development he was also accused of submitting "inaccurate documents" with information "taken out of context" to support his plans, activities described as "desperate measures by desperate people" by councillors.

The articles are reproduced in full below.

From the Hebden Bridge Times of 24th July 1992

'Double dealing' Mayroyd claim

A £12 MILLION scheme involving hundreds of new jobs in Hebden Bridge has been resubmitted to Calderdale Council after being withdrawn in an angry row between councillors and the developers.

Mark Clyndes, managing director of Walkley Clogs, withdrew plans at the last minute, as councillors prepared to dicuss the application at a meeting of Calderdale Council development control sub-committee two weeks ago.

Mr Clyndes faced claims of double-dealing by angry councillors, who criticised him for the way he had handled plans for the site, next to the clog factory.

The application for the development, which would have created 200 permanent jobs and 300 temporary construction jobs, as well as safeguarding 1000 jobs at the factory, included new road works, industrial units, a hotel, swimming pool, residential home, housing, marina, light railway and retail shopping permission for Walkley Clogs.

Mr Clyndes withdrew the plans because of objections from the Department of Transport. But this week he resubmitted the plans saying he was confident the DoT objections could be resolved in the near future.

He came under fire at the meeting of the development control subcommittee for discussing the application out of committee. Mr. Clyndes issued a press statement before the council meeting, claiming to be from Conservative and Labour spokespeople, and stating that the application was to be deferred to a later date.

But chairman of the committee, Coun John Hardy, said both he and Labour spokesman Coun Pam Warhurst disassociated themselves from the statement.

"There have been a lot of telephone calls and part of the information gathered, we believe, has been playing one member of the committee against another. We feel saddened that we have been made responsible for certain comments.

"After conversations that took place the applicant believed the meeting would defer the application.

"But the committee had to meet to decide whether or not it could be deferred and it was agreed that certain matters that had occurred were not desirable and we decided we could not defer."

Councillor Andy Thomson said Mr Clyndes had acted 'out of order' and it was up to the committee to take decisions and not have applicants lobbying individual members beforehand and conducting press campaigns.

The application would have had to be turned down in any case, he pointed out, because of objections from the Department of Transport.

Grounds for objection were: junction layout; lack of information relating to how the plans will deal with the canal structure next to the highway; sight lines; failure to address existing problems regarding access at Carr Lane; hazardous manoeuvres being made by coaches; traffic signals giving rise to road safety problems.

Provided the problems could be dealt with it was prepared to consider proposals which provided a junction onto the A656 Burnley Road, said the DoT.

Councillors said they had sympathy with traders at Walkley Clogs, who were caught up in the planning wrangle.

They had been issued with enforcement notices giving notice to quit, which were withdrawn once the application was submitted to Calderdale Council.

Councillor Hardy gave an assurance that they will not be re-issued pending a new application.

"We hope the matter can be resolved as quickly as possible" he said. "We do not want to sound the death knell for Walkley Clogs, but we have to see that rules and regulations are adhered to."

Councillor Tim Swift said he was disappointed that after 12 months of talks to solve the problems associated with the success of Walkley Clogs, the parties were no nearer a solution. The council should take up its case with the owners of Walkley Clogs and not the tenants, he added.

Mr Clyndes said there had been a misunderstanding over the press release. He had tried to get a deferral because it was a quicker process than having to withdraw and reapply.

Agreement with the Ministry of Transport had been agreed in principle and he was confident the technical details that needed to be sorted out would be.

The scheme which had all-party support would be successful, he added.

Councillor Hardy said he hoped that in future, delicate negotiations would be carried out in committee and not over the telephone with individual members.

From the Hebden Bridge Times of 30th October 1992


A HEBDEN Royd Town Councillor has slammed a document by Walkley Clogs supporting its application to develop the Mayroyd site "as desperate measures by desperate people".

The document, entitled "Developing the Mayroyd site - The public position of Calderēlale Council and Hebden Royd Town Council", has been submitted to Calderdale Planning Committee along with revised plans for the multi-million pound development on one of the last remaining flat areas of land in Hebden Bridge.

Hebden Royd Town Council have already rejected the application because they felt it was an over-intensification of the site. They also said the application conflicted with Calderdale's green belt policy of providing a visual break between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd and objected on highway and access grounds.

The £12 million scheme includes low cost housing, industrial units, a home for the elderly, a hotel and leisure facilities with a public swimming pool, and light railway. The developers say it will create 200 jobs.

The document outlined opinions of the two councils to the land at Mayroyd over an 11-year period and has angered Councillor Mrs Mary Seward, who said many of the comments were inaccurate or had been taken out of context.

"People made the decisions up to 11 years ago and the township and views of the community have changed" she said.

After reading it fully I find things taken out of context and inaccuracies. Desperate measures by desperate people is the term which springs to mind."

"The applicant appears to rely so heavily on the proposed Unitary Development Plan policies which may or may not be adopted, These will only be known when the DoE inspector reports early year," she said.

Chairman of the Planning Committee, Coun Peter Coles that although he had been favour of the development people had to work within the rules that existed not rules they would like.

Agreeing, Coun Alan Bottomley said: "They must work within guidelines."

Members unanimously agreed to write to Calderdale stating it would be morally wrong for them to consider the application with reference to policies not yet established and it would make a mockery of the Department of Environment inquiry system to do so.

They also said the application conflicted with Calderdale green belt and retailing policies.

The council is also putting several complaints about the document to Calderdale Council and these include that wide public consultation had taken place over the application and the community had shown itself to be largely opposed to the development.

Traditionally the Mayroyd site was just the area to the western end of the proposed development and many of the town council recommendations. were based on the small area allocated as industry on the Town map.

No members of the local community objected to the proposal for green belt at Mayroyd.

Members agreed to discuss the revised plans at next week's full council meeting.