No more homes...we're full up

Friday, April 8, 2005

The following is from a report in the Halifax Evening Courier yesterday .

COUNCILLORS could put a complete ban on plans to build new homes in Calderdale.

They say supply has reached saturation point and allowing more new homes could mean they stand empty for years and become a blot on the area.

This week Calderdale Council Planning Committee gave the go-ahead for nearly 200 more houses, flats and apartments and there is no sign of applications drying up.

Tom McElroy (Lab) and Grenville Horsfall (Con) have asked for a detailed report on how to stem the tide of new housing and what problems and benefits a moratorium might bring.

Calderdale has already beaten the Government's target which was for 8,100 new homes by 2016 - provision has already been made for more than 9,200.

"We need a strategy which balances the need for new housing with new businesses and services.

"What we don't want is for the area to be swamped by new homes," said Coun McElroy (Illingworth and Mixenden).

There are fears that as new homes are being built, roads are not being upgraded and properties with potential for future employment is being converted for housing.

Councillor Horsfall (Skircoat) was concerned Calderdale would become a dormitory town for Leeds and Manchester.

"An increasing number of developers are seeking to convert mills and use up the limited amount of land we have left in Calderdale for new and existing businesses.That in turn will create increased pressure on the Green Belt which everyone is so anxious to protect."

Joyce Cawthra (Con, Rastrick) said many schemes, particularly for new apartments, were only proceeding because people in more affluent parts of the country considered them a good investment for their retirement without any concern for the impact locally.

In 1998, the Government anticipated that 450 properties would be added to the Calderdale housing stock each year, but the actual figure now is nearly twice that number.

If the housebuilding frenzy is to continue, then councillors say they want to scrutinise applications in a way which ensures there are more quality than quantity developments.

Full Courier article

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