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Hebden Supports new Supermarket and Hotel plan?

From S Slater

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The planning application is available on line for the new proposals at the Browns site at Mytholm.


I wanted to raise awareness of this planning application as some may not know we have only until 2 November to approve or object to the plans.

Only 5 comments lodged with 4 supporting 1 objecting, please spread the word that comment is needed before its too late. So far Hebden Bridge is in support!

This could be a fundamental change to our community and the 'local' nature of economy. Todmorden objected to new supermarket believing it would crush local shops and limit diversity of offer.

Do we need -
16 aisles supermarket
58 covers in cafe/restaurant
56 Bed 5 story Hotel

From Hazel D

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Interesting choice of headline in today's HB Times. "Action group aims to pour cold water on development". There seemed to be a lot of cold water (and sewage) on that site during the recent floods.

From Dave R

Friday, 19 October 2012

Whatever way this issue is presented matters not. People are not stupid just because they may disagree with others, and I am sure we are quite capable of making up our own minds based on how thing affect us.

A reasonably priced small store, less need to travel to Todmorden, a small hotel offering reasonably priced accommodation for our friends and relatives (who will no doubt browse and buy our great little shops and eat/drink in our cafes/pubs).

Jobs for local people, opportunity for young people to gain skills/ qualifications within the hospitality sector.

What's not to like? I haven't seen anything to convince me its not a good idea. I shall certainly be supporting the application.

From Myra James

Friday, 19 October 2012

There's a public meeting about the application at the Stubbing Wharf pub, Monday 22nd October, 7.30. It has been arranged by Councillor Janet Battye and will include presentations by the agents and by a Calderdale planning officer, as well as questions and comments from the floor. A good opportunty to find out exactly what is proposed and how to make your comments on it to best effect.

From Derek Pollard

Monday, 22 October 2012

This site used to belong to John Pickels & Son.

I served My apprenticeship there from 1955 up to 1962 as well as working there at other times.

I dont ever remember the factory floor being floode. Tthere was a lot of very expesive machinary in there as well as a foundry, and any water in there would have ruined just about everything, including machinery in the process of being manufactured. The road and a part of the mill yard would be flooded but never the factory floor.

I have many photos taken inside the works to illustrate

If the floor had flooded, the damage to machinery would have been very expensive. No-one ever called it a flood plain then.

From Myra James

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The public meeting on Monday night was packed and it was helpful to learn more about the planning process from Richard Seaman of Calderdale Council. Chris Standish, a local resident who works in planning (but not for Calderdale Council) has drawn up some guidelines on responding to the application:

Mytholm Works Planning Application

Following the residents meeting, residents views seem to fall into three broad categories:

  1. Object to the whole development;
  2. Object to one part of the development more than another;
  3. Broadly support the application but have some detailed concerns / issues

There a two main ways for residents to get their views known, the first is by writing to the planners at Calderdale and the second is contacting your local Ward Councillor, the Chair of the Planning Committee and your MP.

Structuring a Response to Calderdale Planning Department

This is the formal way to get you views registered with the officer dealing with the application. You can write whatever you wish but you should be mindful that the planning officer can only address "material considerations". Simply put, comments that specifically refer to the relevant policy considerations impacting the site.

The policy considerations are contained in the Replacement Calderdale UDP, the Localism Act, the National Planning Policy Framework and relevant and recent planning case law.

In terms of the UDP, the relevant policies are;

BE2 Privacy, Daylight and amenity
BE5 Design & layout of highways
NE15 Development within wildlife corridors
NE16 Protection of protected species
NE21 Trees and development sites
EP17 Proction of indicative floodplain
EP27 Renewable energy development
The site is also a protected employment site.

The Localism Act gives residents 'more say' in development impacting their area. Instead of 'reacting to proposals' they are encouraged to proactively develop proposals themselves via neighbourhood plans and neighbourhood development orders. The Act also means that local councillors can have a much greater input in responding to proposals, rather than previously staying neutral – they should act as local champions for issues in their ward.

The NPPF stresses that 'sustainable development proposals' should be approved if they adhere to existing planning policies. The main thrust of the document is get development proposals approved, unless there are very good reasons to refuse them.

Given the above, comments should look to be structured in a way that incorporates some / all of the following;

  • acceptability of use type
  • materials, layout and design
  • residential amenity
  • impact on businesses
  • highways
  • environmental / green issues / wildlife
  • flooding
  • open space
  • trees and landscaping
  • viability (financial)

Those comments that fall into category 3 should think about what you'd like to see in the conditions (assuming the application get approved). These could make a significant difference to the development and its quality. The sort of thing that could be considered include:


  • resident involvement in the detailed design of all landscaping and boundary treatments;
  • resident involvement in the detailed design of footpaths
  • lighting – day and night
  • planting schemes
  • specific detailed design aspects
  • financial contributions (termed section106 agreements) to other issues nearby such as improved footpaths / zebra crossing / lighting / signage / allotments / affordable housing / improved play areas etc etc.

Chris Standish
07952 949650

From Andrew B

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

I'm quite shocked at how many people are objecting to the plans online based on traffic/ traffic noise etc.

If you buy a house next to an A-road surely you accept that there will be noise? Apparently not.

With regards to flooding; the town has gone flooding mad - we can't expect people to just not build anywhere because of the flood risk, one of the floods earlier in the year was caused by a freak cloud burst- nothing would have stopped that. There was factory on this site for many years, I really can't understand why people think it should be left empty?

The town for great little shops title would be more suitable if it was the town for great little shops if you're a tourist and/or wealthy.

From Myra James

Thursday, 25 October 2012

It is the Environment Agency which has placed heavy restrictions on what may be built on the Mytholm Works site because of flood risk, such that it is no longer feasible to put housing there.

No-one's going "mad" (although people who have been flooded three times this year might feel like it) - rules have been put in place which have to be complied with.

As for traffic - it does rather more than make a noise. It pollutes, it intimidates, it can kill. Have you seen the tailbacks of traffic in Mytholm in the morning peak, and on just about any sunny Sunday afternoon? Have you tried to breathe the air on Market Street and Bridge Lanes when walking beside nose-to-tail traffic? Do you know what it feels like when cycling to have a supermarket delivery wagon pass you with just a few inches to spare?

If Asda opens in Tod and whatever other store in Mytholm, the additional traffic, both cars and lorries, will push the town centre Air Quality Management Area even further over the limit.

There are lots of reasons not to want a supermarket on this site, but for me traffic alone is enough for a resounding "no!"

From Ian M

Thursday, 25 October 2012

And what is the cause of all that standing traffic? All the impediments to the free flow of traffic through the town! Unnecessary sets of traffic lights, narrow roads obstructed by parking spaces, pedestrian crossings every ten feet, pedestrians ignoring crossings right next to them and stepping out into the road on suicide missions.

Clear the obstructions and the air quality will improve

From Dave R

Friday, 26 October 2012

Myra says: "As for traffic - it does rather more than make a noise. It pollutes, it intimidates, it can kill". Just how much of that traffic is people travelling to Todmorden/ Halifax to do their weekly shop? How many supermarket home delivery vans use this route?

Wouldn't the above naturally decrease if a supermarket were nearer?
The huge tailbacks 'every Sunday' - are these not caused in the majority by the 'tourists' that we need to visit our town of 'great little shops'?
Don't we want more people to stay in our town (in the small hotel) rather than drive through?

As Ian says: if the reasons for standing traffic were properly addressed by removing some of the extraordinary amount of delaying tactics in excessive traffic control, the issue of noise and pollution would naturally reduce.

Therefore, Myra's "There are lots of reasons not to want a supermarket on this site, but for me traffic alone is enough for a resounding no"...doesn't quite ring true. That she admits to living close to the site speaks more of NIMBYSM than any concerns she may have about the A646 resembling the M6.

From Susan Quick

Friday, 26 October 2012

Myra writes about access to the proposed supermarket and the volume of traffic on King Street. Myra doesn't live on King Street, but I do. And yes traffic speed is so high that I frequently see ladies in their 70s and 80s hitching up their skirts and sprinting to safety.

I fear that if we have a supermarket on Brown's that traffic would not reduce; indeed someone has to fill the 171 parking bays. Not to mention the delivery trucks. I've already had the side of my car, parked in a layby, taken off by a passing truck.

May I remind those of you who complain about the high prices at Hebden's shops, so have to rush out of town to save money in a supermarket, that Hebden is a Fair Trade town. Which means that we believe that it is inappropriate to exploit people living in far away countries where the concept of a living wage does not exist. People who work far below a living wage to produce items to fill our shops.

It was not so long ago, 1832, that textile mill owners in Hebden Bridge were forced to only employ children for 10 hours a day. Children accompanied their mothers who worked from 5am to 9pm. The children were able to crawl under the looms and retrieve fallen thread.

Let's think calmly about whether we do want a supermarket on Brown's. What impact would it have on the 4th funkiest town in the world? And that's not just for the tourists is it? Why do you live here?

From Myra James

Friday, 26 October 2012

I wasn't intending to get involved in a protracted argument but I would like to point out that my comments about traffic related to the town as a whole, and particularly the Air Quality Management Area in the town centre, and not only the concerns of residents local to the site (although these also deserve to be taken very seriously).

From James Baker

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Traffic considerations are important. I would have thought though journeys to this site would be off-set by a decline in journeys to existing supermarkets. Currently I drive to Todmorden in Morrisons to shop from Mytholmroyd. So If this development goes ahead there could be less journeys up and down the valley.

Supermarkets can impact on smaller retailers but the independent shops in Hebden Bridge have done a good job in specialising with more upmarket artisan goods. I'm not sure they are even competing against the share of the market supermarkets capture. Also a hotel (and it's associated marketing) would attract more visitors who would spend more in the local Indepedent shops. So whereas I would worry if this was just a supermarket, the hotel aspect makes me fairly confident local shops will thrive.

I remain open minded to convicing arguments against this developement, but from what I have seen so far I look forward to not having to drive so far to shop, a wider selection of consumer choice and the increase to employment this development will bring.

From Lisa Foster

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I really want to make official comments but I'm being sent in circles by Calderdale's website and even though I've registerted I don't seem to be able to find the application with any of the searches i use. Does anyone know what to type into Calderdale's planning application search field in order to find this application?

From From Myra James

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Lisa - type "Mytholm Works" into the box, or the reference number: 12/01003/FUL

Hebden Royd Town Council will be considering the application on Wed 31st October. The meeting starts at 7.30 but from 7.15 there will be an opportunity to look at the application and talk to councillors.

From Jenny Shepherd

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Lisa, go to this page to read all the planning application documents and comments. On that page, click on the login box (with padlock symbol) to log in, so that you can then make your own comments/objections.

Also Hebden Royd Town Council meeting (Oct 31st 7.15pm start) will decide how to advise Calderdale Council to deal with the planning application

From Margaret Boyle

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Some of the comments about traffic problems caused by a supermarket are more than bizarre. James Baker appears to believe that little extra traffic would be created as most people using a new supermarket would be swopping from Morrisons to this one. He seems to think that the developers are offering a public service rather than trying to maximise the profit they could squeeze out of this site and maximising the number of punters they pack into the car park everyday. Of course it would create extra traffic and of course it would add to pollution and further damage air quality in the valley.

Isn't it about time we recognised the geographical constraints of our narrow valley and its narrow road and stopped pretending these can somehow be wished away? I would like to see Hebden Bridge and Calderdale councillors stating unequivocally that they will oppose this and any future development which would generate these volumes of traffic and put an end to these pointless and divisive public debates.

If they did this, then the developers might decide to consider the need for a hotel which could service the town's tourist industry, bringing visitors who would walk into town, spend money, support businesses and jobs without the damage of constant additional traffic. And people might decide it would be good for the town.

From Ian M

Thursday, 1 November 2012

But how would all these tourists get to this new hotel? Assuming a 55 bed hotel with most people staying for one or two nights at best, you would be looking at 110 vehicle movements per day. An increase in traffic on top of the people still driving through town to get to a supermarket, not a reduction

From Phil M

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Margaret - I find James Baker's comments level-headed and valid, certainly not bizarre!

Of course there's the consideration that a supermarket on that site will have a positive as well as a negative effect on traffic, James gives himself as an axample that proves that point?

I also agree that a hotel on the site will mean more visitors and therefore more footfall through the doors of the independant shops and this therefore needs to be offset against the detrimental effect the supermarket would have on the shops [only those that sell the same stuff the supermarket]

Theres many opposing views on this very much still open topic, I don't think any of us know the effects either positive or negative..

Even though I live in Hebden, I find myself more opposed to a new supermarket in Tod than I do on the Brown's site. Tod has an amazing indoor market and plenty of independent shops that are surviving even though it has 2 supermarkets already [maybe a casestudy for Hebden to take note of?], a third maybe one too many!! [plus I'm with Adolf and think a marina would be lovely!!]

From James Baker

Friday, 2 November 2012

I was pleased that the Town Council voted in favour of this application, as those who came along will know I spoke in favour of this application, largely on the grounds of the jobs it will create in the local economy. I was also pleased that a sizeable portion of the Labour group backed this motion, sharing an understanding of what a huge difference extra jobs can create to those people and their families.

I get rather disappointed when I hear people decry supermarket or hotel jobs as just being 'minimum wage' or low value. There are many people who have meaningful careers working within both retail and the hotel trade. There is also nothing low value about a minimum wage job, people who work in these roles do essential and valuable work that we should appreciate rather than deride.

The traffic analysis is complicated - PAH consultants have written a 135 page report on the matter which is available on Calderdale's planning portal webpage. There are lots of variable factors to consider. Certainly some journeys will be shorter as people who live in the area won't have to travel as far up and down the valley to get to a supermarket. More HGVs might come into Hebden Bridge, but maybe less travelling onto the other supermarkets. As mentioned above new road journeys to the hotel may well be created, although some of these will be by train of course. Also things get even more complex when you consider the environmental impact of domestic versus international tourism. Stronger domestic tourism destinations may reduce air miles.

I think rather than simply saying it will certainly increase traffic objectors need to be a bit more convincing and acknowledge some of the complexity in the traffic question. Backing up some of the claims about more traffic, and local shops closing with some evidence might help convincing more people. Examples such as Todmorden do demonstrate you can have thriving local shops, and projects like incredible edible co-existing alongside supermarkets.

Finally can we stamp this notion that modern farming, distribution and retail methods are the root of all evil on its head. Such methods offer a far more energy efficient, low-carbon and productive uses of land than the romantic vision of a pre-industrialised agrarian society.

The industrialisation of food production has done a huge amount to raise the living standards, health and quality of life of working people. Such industrial processes also offer potential to be greener. We should be thinking about applying modern science to large factory plants in order to create efficient cycles in which waste products are reused for other purposes.

The vision of a 'sustainable' use of land put forward for the Brown site by some of the objectors is anything but sustainable. Growing your own food, and living the good life may be nice for those who have the luxury of time and wealth to be able to live such a lifestyle. Replicated on a mass scale it's a recipe for starvation and poverty.

From Dave R

Saturday, 3 November 2012

As James so eloquently puts it: "The vision of a 'sustainable' use of land put forward for the Brown site by some of the objectors is anything but sustainable. Growing your own food, and living the good life may be nice for those who have the luxury of time and wealth to be able to live such a lifestyle".

I am so fed up of reading posts from people who clearly do have the luxury of time and wealth, telling us how we will lose our individuality; our 'great little shops'; our roads will become gridlocked etc...

The site is industrial. The buyer of this derelict wasteland quite likely hopes to be able to sell the development as one that will make a profit. S/He could choose to sell it to a company who recycles dead animals for pet food.

That none of the objectors can see this and continue to bleat on about traffic pollution; floods (yawn); noise; danger; and all those other equally 'scary things', is becoming boring.

There can be no coincidence that the majority of objections are clearly from people who live in the vicinity of the proposed development. They clearly all have lots of time and to stroll around our great little shops selecting their weekly shop. They don't have friends or relatives who would like to visit them and Hebden Bridge (or they have huge houses to accomodate them); they cross King Street several times daily (to get to their cars parked in lay-byes?); and can remember the A646 when nowt but 'hosses and carts used it!

When I was a lad, Brown's was a busy working site, wagons came and went frequently and it likely pumped out some mucky old smoke as did most factories in those days. The key thing was that it provided work for locals. Maybe the wages paid were the equivalent of shop/hotel workers, but it was work. Something that this town lacks for our young people.

Careers (and yes it is a career) in retail and leisure, can be offered to our youngsters. We live in a Tourist area for goodness sake.

I moved back here to live because it was where I wanted to live not because it had lots of twee little shops for tourists.

By the way, I too buy my meat at Woodheads, my fruit and veg on the market and my bread from Waites or Oasis. A supermarket wouldnt stop me doing that, (I dont like pre-packed meat per se) but I don't object to anyone else shopping where they like.

Too many of you do try too hard to object on principles that might well be different if you were not rich in time and/or money, or if you lived further up/down the valley.

From Anthony Rae

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Just in response to James Baker's comments about traffic and the transport consultants' report: "The traffic analysis is complicated - PAH consultants have written a 135 page report on the matter which is available on Calderdale's planning portal webpage. There are lots of variable factors to consider. … I think rather than simply saying it will certainly increase traffic objectors need to be a bit more convincing and acknowledge some of the complexity in the traffic question."

I'll simply repeat the interim comments I've sent to the Head of Development Control: "At a meeting I had with the developers' agents (MDA) on 18th October I put a series of questions to them about the extent to which the Transport Impact Assessment could support with quantified evidence the conclusions it reaches at e.g 4.2.4 and 6.1.2-3 as to the limited and acceptable impact the development might have on the highway network. They were not able to answer any of my questions …" - consequently we are all due to have a meeting with the consultant I would hope next week. "At the moment I don't believe the TIA can necessarily support its favourable conclusions, or that it is of adequate technical quality. I would suggest therefore that you should be asking the CMBC Highways officers to assess its technical adequacy and if necessary to ask the applicant to do further work. I don't believe that the application can be determined in relation to E11 (iii) Highways on the basis of what has been provided so far."

This would suggest that the Town Council may have been slightly premature in reaching its favourable conclusion. Also it's not the case that the 'traffic objectors need to be a bit more convincing' – not that I am one such yet; I'm waiting to review properly presented evidence – it's up to the applicants and their consultant to convince the Planning Authority of the suitability of their scheme.

From Paul Knights

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

I have just phoned Calderdale Planning department and they confirmed that the last available date for commenting on the Mytholm application is actually at 4pm on Thursday 8th November, not 2nd November as has been reported on this forum.

This tallies with the planning notice at the site, which was dated 18th October and stated that comments must be received within 21 days. Incidentally, that planning notice has been prematurely removed, and the planning department assures me it was not by them, since they no longer take them down as they 'do not have the resources'.

You can still comment on the application here

From Andrew Marsh

Sunday, 11 November 2012

I have been following this with some interest and would like to make the following observations.

To those people who object on the grounds of extra traffic movements, do they think that those people who go to supermarkets outside of the town take public transport or walk? I would suggest that they drive and so if there is a supermarket on the Browns site where would the extra traffic come from. It seems to me that there would be an increase in traffic in the immediate area as traffic enters and leaves but I don't see masses of extra traffic. An extra 110 movements from a 55 bed hotel does not seem huge and staff cars are not going to make a huge difference. Of course there is the opportunity to get some planning gain from this like a regular bus service between the site and the railway station.

As for the impact on local shops. how many people currently leave Hebden Bridge to shop in the surrounding towns because there no supermarket? they don't shop in Hebden at all. A supermarket, with a bus service would add car parking and easy access to the town centre. A 3 year study commissioned by Tesco but carried out independently by the University of Southampton concluded that supermarkets can be beneficial.

"Professor Neil Wrigley, the report's co-author, said the research found that supermarkets built on town centre or edge-of-town sites encourage fewer residents to leave the town to carry out their shopping. There is also a significant amount of "spill over" of shopping activity to independent shops when a superstore opens, he said."

We should perhaps look on this as an opportunity

From Anthony Rae

Sunday, 11 November 2012

In response to Andrew: "It seems to me that there would be an increase in traffic in the immediate area as traffic enters and leaves but I don't see masses of extra traffic." But, with respect, where's the evidence – which the applicant has the responsibility to provide? Supposition isn't good enough on a highly significant impact such as this.

And on a point of accuracy: "As for the impact on local shops: how many people currently leave Hebden Bridge to shop in the surrounding towns because there no supermarket?" Well, of course, there is a supermarket – the Co-op – just not a large one.

But I write principally to advise that in my previous comment I said that I was due to meet the with the developers' transport consultant with their agents. That meeting has now been arranged for Tuesday and I'll let Hebweb know the outcome.

From Eleanor Land

Sunday, 11 November 2012

I cannot take seriously any report commissioned by a company like Tesco. Firstly I haven't seen the terms set for the report and secondly their actions in the past don't fill me with any confidence that they are interested in anything other than maximising their profits. I am not for or against a new supermarket, but anyone who believes that our wonderful selection of small and independent shops won't be affected must be quite naive. I'm afraid many small towns have learned by bitter experience it is the death knell for small shops.

From Andrew Marsh

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Can I just say that I am neither in favour nor against this development, just realistic. I don't think supermarkets are in for the good of the community, nor that they would commission a report that would do anything other than further their cause. However I don't think that all the petitions, complaining, moaning and posturing will make jot of difference in the end. At some point someone will get permission to build a large supermarket on the outskirts of Hebden Bridge. Unless the people of Hebden Bridge make it absolutely clear that they don't support it.
So tell me how many of you never shop in a supermarket, I mean ever . . . or have groceries delivered by one of the supermarkets? or buy from an online retailer?

Town centres are dying not because someone wants to build a supermarket on the outskirts of town but because we have changed our shopping habits.

I work, so does my wife, we have one car, she shops in Halifax, where she works, at lunch time because it is convenient. Sometimes she calls into Lidl on the way home. Would we shop in Hebden Bridge more if there was somewhere to park and the shops were open? possibly, but at 5.45 pm the little shops are closed, or closing, so we can't. Would we shop on a Sat? possibly if there was somewhere to park but there isn't so we rarely do, my wife likes a lie in on a Sat morning, I sometimes go in early to do a meat shop and get my haircut before you can't park.

Our great little shops are wonderful but there is not much choice of staples. I shop at May's occasionally, when we have run out of something and we get milk and papers from there, but not for our staples that comes from one of the supermarkets, Tesco or Asda in Halifax.
So tell me all you clever people how many of you never shop in a supermarket? and why would not having a supermarket on the outskirts of Hebden Bridge make you stop shopping in a supermarket?
Lets be honest it wouldn't would it?

So if it is pretty much inevitable wouldn't it make sense to use this as an opportunity to get something out of the planning process that works for the people and businesses in Hebden Bridge?

What do we lack that we could get through the planning process from this development that would keep our town special? How can we persuade the developer to come on that journey with us? how do we keep Hebden Bridge at the forefront of innovation?

From Phil M

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Very good point Andrew Marsh!!

I too an neither against or for this development with any fervour but to answer your question, yes, as a family we use supermarkets, just not every week. We do use both Butchers in Hebden for all our meat and the quality of the fruit/veg in Oasis is far better than coop..but we do source general grocery requirements out of town at either Morrisons or Tesco.

If we had a decent supermarket in Hebden [sorry Coop!] then we would continue to get our meat from the Butchers as the localness, friedliness, service and quality is superb!! We would also continue to use Oasis as its a great shop and we are walking past often.. We would also continue to source some great stuff at the Farmers' markets, the quality of some of the veg [kale is an example] is top-notch!!

Todmorden is an interesting case in point. This town has 2 supermarkets and still manages to support a number of independent shops and a fully operational and vibrant market... with nowhere near the number of tourists and visitors which Hebden enjoys..


From Anthony Rae

Friday, 16 November 2012

I've now had my meeting with the developers' transport consultant (who prepared the Transport Impact Assessment - TIA) and their agents, and here are my findings from it. I've previously stated that: "At the moment I don't believe the TIA can necessarily support its favourable conclusions or that it is of adequate technical quality." Those conclusions were that with only "a predicted slight increase in traffic flows along the A646 the proposed good development can be readily accommodated within the operation of the local highway network" TIA 6.1.2

- It was accepted that the figures providing a comparison between the existing A646 traffic level and that which will be added by the development aren't given in the report, and will be now (maybe next week). This will cover the entirety of a peak day (market day Thursday) and not just the 5-6pm peak hour, so people will be able to examine the impacts throughout the day. If you look at page 59 of the TIA you will see that a supermarket peak doesn't really begin until approaching midday and then continues until the early evening.

- Many aspects of the TIA's contents and therefore quality was specified in advance by the Council's Highways department; this included the choice of just one weekday peak hour, but also that the developers did not need to assess the impact of traffic through Hebden Bridge town centre, or on the feeder roads near to the site such as Church Lane. If Calderdale had asked for these issues to be examined then the TIA would have done so.

- Furthermore when asked about the accuracy of the TIA statements that 'footways within the vicinity of the site are to a good standard' and that therefore 'safe and convenient access to the site is readily available to pedestrians' (TIA 2.3.6 & 2.4.7) - which can't really be the case if there is no footpath at all on the opposite side of the road to the site - the consultant said that the developers had offered to provide two crossings (zebra/panda) at the Stubbing Holme Wharf and Turning Circle locations but that Calderdale had indicated that these were not necessary. One concern apparently was that vehicles traveling in a Halifax direction would approach the first of these immediately after a blind corner which might in itself create safety concerns. So this is an important piece of further information; but it was accepted that the TIA statements as they stand are not correct.

- In answer to questions about whether their PICARDY modelling had demonstrated that the entrance junction to the site, the right-hand turn filter lane, and their location near to the turning circle would all function properly, the answer was that it had, and the consultant was satisfied that the junction would work and the filter lane 'clear' in all traffic conditions. I also asked about other technical aspects and assumptions of the TIA and received good answers.

- Finally I put to them a question that had been suggested to me by a colleague: what would be the impact of traffic through Hebden Bridge, passed the site and onto Todmorden if both the supermarket and the proposed Todmorden supermarket were consented, so that the weight of 'supermarket' traffic travelling along the A646 shifted from an easterly/Halifax direction to a westerly/Todmorden direction? The response was that under planning guidance the TIA could not examine the impact of possible developments such as the much larger Todmorden supermarket before it was formally committed, and therefore the TIA had not done so, but the consultant's view was that if the Todmorden supermarket was approved then the impact on the A646 of a now additional Brown's site development would need to be reassessed.

This is where the timings get interesting: on the day we met the Council were pressing for the supermarket application to be determined as soon as 4th December, even though this was well within the 13 week period they are required to achieve and the fact that the developers themselves were not anxious for a decision until questions arising on such as traffic impact had been properly dealt with. It is less likely that the Todmorden supermarket public inquiry decision will be available by early December, but could be available by January. In any case the consultant thought that if Calderdale wanted this potential double impact on the A646 to be assessed then they could ask for it to be done.

So at the moment the quantity of traffic that any Brown's site development on its own would add to the A646 is not yet available; significant impacts including on road safety had not been properly resolved because the Council did not ask them to be examined or dealt with; and finally the cumulative impact of traffic generating developments like new supermarkets in Hebden Bridge or Todmorden on the Hebden town centre bottleneck or the A646 as a whole have not yet been assessed.

This last point should not surprise us because, for whatever reason, the Council has not routinely been assessing the potential for the planning applications, whether housing or employment, to progressively 'fill up' the A646 with traffic to such a point that congestion on this critical route along the Upper Calder Valley starts to impact upon the economic viability of the settlements along it, and on the road users including buses that have to use it. I'm not saying that we are at a point of 'gridlock on the A646' but it is widely known already that it only takes an ordinary incident to cause very long traffic jams along it, and this surely ought to be a strong reason for the Council and its Highways department to be testing whether access along the A646 is being eroded.

Therefore for the moment I'm sticking with my judgment of 3rd November that "I don't believe that the application can be determined in relation to E11 (iii) Highways on the basis of the information that has been provided so far"; and that it would also be better to either await the outcome of the Todmorden PI or alternatively to ask the TIA to model the impact of both developments. I will be communicating accordingly to the Council and ward councilors.

From Myra James

Sunday, 18 November 2012

I'm astonished by aspects of Anthony's report regarding the Transport Impact Statement that indicate Calderdale Council's role in some of its inadequacies, e.g:

Many aspects of the TIA's contents and therefore quality was specified in advance by the Council's Highways department


the consultant said that the developers had offered to provide two crossings (zebra/panda) at the Stubbing Holme Wharf and Turning Circle locations but that Calderdale had indicated that these were not necessary.

If this is the Council's attitude, what prospect is there, in the event that the application is approved, of securing the kind of pedestrian safety conditions which formed part of the Town Council's recommendation to approve?

Would Town Councillors perhaps wish to review their decision in light of these revelations?

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Calderdale's idiotic idea that a new supermarket doesn't need traffic management proves once again they are the worse council in the country.

But imagine the chaos that would be caused if there were two zebra crossings...traffic would be backing up both ways which is a nightmare for residents, pedestrians and drivers alike.

Traffic is already snarled up on our narrow valley road without extra obstacles to overcome.

I wonder if our three paid Calderdale councillors would like to give us their views on this. Cllr Baker has but he is not a local councillor and our local reps are very quiet on this.

From Susan Quick

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Good point Paul Clark. Yes we need to hear from our Councillors. Janet Battye hosted a public meeting for the achitects and a representative of Calderdale's Planning Dept, but what does she think?

And let's not forget that Hebden Royd Town Council had the wisdom to approve the application! Although they did add the proviso that there should be a review of the implications for pedestrians after I described how walking into town at 5.45 traffic density had prevented me crossing the road to access the pavement. Walking in the road I had been drenched from head to foot by a passing bus.

The traffic review conducted for the planning application said everything is fine, no changes needed. I guess they didn't see traffic at the turning circle backed up to the road to the vet. And that before we have a supermarket and hotel with 171 parking bays for customers + delivery trucks. Or speak to residents of the sheltered accommodation who already face hazards trying to cross the road and walk into town.

From Myra James

Monday, 26 November 2012

Calderdale Council will decide on this application at the Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday 4th December, 6.00pm at Halifax Town Hall. The meeting is open to members of the public.

From Jon B

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I have also read the TIA document on the Calderdale council website, and I'm quite surprised that there has been no assessment included of the possibility of a roundabout to ease the potential transport issues at the new site.

There is half a roundabout there already (in the form of the turning circle), could they not just extend this to the other side too, and therefore introduced a controlled flow of traffic?

See also

HebWeb News: Planners recommend refusal of plans (27 November 2012)

HebWeb Forum: Brown's site (July-Oct 2012)

Planning Watch

HebWeb News: Public Meeting at Stubbing Wharf (October 2012)

HebWeb Forum: Brown's site (March-May 2012)