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Development next to Little Park

From Paul Murray

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Dear neighbors / friends of The Little Park / Waterside Fold saga.

I thought people might like to know how the residents of Waterside Fold are getting on in our challenge to the planning permission given to the developer of the flats next to the Little Park.

On or about 3rd February I wrote to the Secretary of State for the Environment to raise our concerns about how the permission granted by Calderdale Council had increased flooding risk not just to our own houses but Hebden Bridge town centre as a whole. I asked if consequently the planning permission could be revoked. She has passed that request onto the planning minister and a process is now underway involving discussions between the Council, the Environment Agency and the developer.

But whilst that was going on the developer Mr Bradby, visited my house on 10th February 2016 and explained as follows: He was in difficulty proceeding with the development because of the issues about the flood risk being raised, but equally could not halt it because of the finances he had already committed. Therefore he proposed this way forward: that the proposed road access bridge would be removed from the development (after the existing bridge deck had been extracted) and replaced by a purely pedestrian access bridge which would not breach the Waterside Fold walls. The six parking spaces intended to be provided on the access bridge could now be found on a site nearby.

In response to his proposal I did not give any personal view about the idea. I have discussed it with fellow residents and whilst there was not universal acceptance, there was interest. If the road bridge to the site is withdrawn then the Waterside Fold flood walls would remain in place and intact.

In the meantime there have been no works on the site since early February.

From Derek Bradshaw

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

in response to Paul Murray

I would say stick to your guns! and get this development stopped. It sounds like another eyesore bridge will be built over the flood wall so people can enter this property. I'm afraid the developer is clutching at straws now as this was a badly thought out development from the get go, not taking into any account obvious issues which played out in the floods.

If he is losing money then it may give him a lesson not to go chasing money without taking into consideration risks of developing in such a small and dangerous site such as this one.

Its funny how he has now met you after all this time as it looks like planning permission may be revoked.

From David Mack

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Mr Bradby may already have committed finance to this project to get planning consent and to carry out the limited preparatory work that has taken place so far. But that is small beer compared with the sums he will need to expend to complete the development. So he must already be thinking about cutting his losses on this scheme (not that he will admit it publicly).

The planning permission (reference 15/00301/FUL on Calderdale's website) includes the following condition:

"The use of the development hereby permitted shall not commence until the car park shown on the permitted plans has been provided, surfaced, sealed and marked out in accordance with the permitted plans and the car park shall thereafter be retained for that purpose for the occupiers of and visitors to the development."

So if he is now proposing not to build the car park deck, and to provide parking elsewhere (where?), he will need to get an amendment to the planning consent. This will provide another opportunity for the local community to object to the development.

From Julie C

Thursday, 10 March 2016

I can't see how the developer's new plan would work in practice. It means that there would be no vehicle access for maintenance vehicles, emergency services, resident's removals, deliveries etc. There would be constant hassle on Waterside Fold of folk trying to park there, drop off people, shopping…

A footbridge would still have the potential to block the river and encourage the water to come over the wall. Trees and other debris would risk being caught up in the structure. If the bridge blocked/ flooded/ failed, the residents in the flats could risk being trapped.

The developer just needs to cut his losses and stop throwing money down the river.

From Paul Murray

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Friends/neighbours, I have just received a reply from DEFRA to my earlier correspondence which includes this:

"The Environment Agency has been working with the residents on Waterside Fold and the developer to further understand the most recent flood event and how it compares to previous modelled information. In light of the recent flood event and to take account of its latest modelling information, the Environment Agency has asked for the proposals to be reviewed to ensure there is no increase in flood risk upstream or downstream of the development. The developer has agreed to do this. The Environment Agency has requested that the developer stops any work until such a review can take place and has arranged a meeting with the developer and Calderdale Council to discuss the development further. Again the developer has agreed to do this."

It does demonstrate that at least some public officials are interested in the possibility that the approved planning permission might be compromising flood safety, hence the need to review the scheme.


HebWeb Forum Closure of Little Park (October 2015 - Feb 2016)