Chainsaws flatten former swimming pool site

Monday, May 1, 2006

On Friday morning, men with chainsaws once again started flattening an area of Hebden Bridge, removing young woodland. The land was the former Windsor Works between Spring Grove and Victoria Road, land on which it had been hoped that a swimming pool would be built.

The developers are planning two blocks of ten flats each, three storeys high with 30 parking places.

The land was obtained 20 years or so ago by the Swimming Pool Committee (or Hebden Royd Leisure Pool Association), with the intention of providing Hebden Bridge with a much needed pool. Many local people gave money and time to this project.

Planning permission was granted for a swimming pool and cafe on this site in 1992, and in 1999 permission was also granted for a straw bale sauna, office and garden. Neither of these approvals were implemented and both have now expired.

As recently as June 2000, the Hebden Bridge Web reported that "there will be a meeting of Hebden Royd Leisure Pool Association at the White Lion Hotel on Wednesday 21 June for any interested parties to attend. It is important that the land on Victoria Road is used for the use of the community and it is only by community involvement that the people of Hebden Bridge and the surrounding areas have their say."


The land is now owned by Eileen Carr of Dewsbury, Harold Ryder of Colne, Dorothy Sutcliffe of Blackshawhead and Eileen Barnes of Heptonstall. It is being developed by Richardson Projects Ltd of Rochdale. The agents are Residential Design of Middlewich, Cheshire.


Local objectors to the development made the following points:

  • Would result in a significant increase in traffic in the area, increasing congestion and reducing highway safety
  • Overbearing impact from height of development
  • Impact on privacy of houses on Spring Grove
  • Not an eco-friendly development
  • Lack of provision of affordable housing
  • Developers have not consulted local people
  • Access is unsuitable
  • Hebden Bridge does not need more of this type of housing
  • Excessive number of parking spaces

Local residents have told us how they had enjoyed walking past the site, seeing how nature had reclaimed it, making it look more attractive every year.

Just as the young trees were about to burst into leaf once again, they were pulverised into piles of woodchip.

Full details of planning proposal

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