Garden Street Report
for Calderdale Cabinet:

- background, options and implications

WARDS AFFECTED Calder Valley/ Luddendenfoot


DATE 10 / 25 October 2005




1.1 To consider the selection of a preferred developer for the redevelopment of the Garden Street/Tanpits Car Park, Hebden Bridge.


2.1 Following Cabinet resolution on 14 February 2004 the Garden Street/Tanpits Gar parks were placed on the market, with the objective of securing additional off street car parking, funded from a private sector development. The agreed selection procedure has been followed and a preferred developer is now recommended.

2.2 The proposal has proved to be controversial and some objections have been received to the principle of any redevelopment.


3.1 The development company to be established by Studio BAAD, be appointed as preferred developer for the site, subject to the conditions listed in the report .

3.2 That negotiation proceed on heads of terms with Studio BAAD and a valuation of the proposed transfer of land and resultant scheme be prepared for further consideration by Cabinet


4.01 One of the projects that has emerged from the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Initiative is to increase short stay Gar parking provision in Hebden Bridge by developing a new multi-storey car park on the site of the Garden Street car park. The idea has also been subject to public consultation in the Hebden Bridge Traffic Review.

4.02 Garden Street (see attached plan) is a narrow area of land with access from Victoria Street and Albert Street but with egress only through Croft Mill yard on to Albert Street. The site is currently used as a surface level car park with 55 spaces and a further six informal spaces on the ramped access from Albert Street. Tanpits is an adjoining area of land currently used for informal parking taking a maximum of 6 vehicles.

4.03 The site was marketed in May 2004 with an accompanying development brief and Sales Particulars. The purpose of this exercise was to establish whether or not the private sector would consider the redevelopment of this restricted site would be feasible.

4.04 There has been a two stage process to developer selection. In the first stage, expressions of interest were requested to allow a short list of potential developers with good track records of delivery and evidence of an understanding of the sites potential and constraints. By the deadline of Friday lst October 2004, four submissions were received. After scoring it was agreed that all four would be invited to provide stage 2 submissions.

4.05 In stage 2, all 4 developers were invited to make a detailed presentation of their track record, their approach to the development both in design terms and delivery and financial offer to the Council. One developer withdrew from the process at this stage. The remaining three are;

  • Bradford Property Restoration Ltd, 3 Clare Road, Halifax
  • Inspired Developments, Hope Street Chapel, Sandbach, Cheshire
  • Studio BAAD, Linden Mill, Hebden Bridge

4.06 The three draft schemes submitted and conceptual drawings were displayed in the library in Hebden Bridge during a consultation period which ran from 04/02/05 until 04/03/05. During this period 85 individuals plus 1 Residential Management group representing a number of residents submitted comments on the proposals and comments were also received from the Hebden Royd Town Council and the Hebden Royd Partnership. Following the consultation period, a further 3 comments were received from individuals and a letter of objection to all three schemes was received from the local MP.

4.07 Although less than 100 representations were received, the large majority did not support any of the proposals. (see appendix 1) The comments received were presented to the three developers who were asked to address the concerns in their presentations

4.08 The panel took the view that at this stage no detailed scheme had been produced and hence many of the valid concerns of those making representations had yet to be addressed. It was therefore decided to apply a traffic lights system in appraising the submissions, with red representing a scheme which does not appear adaptable to meet the requirements of the brief, amber for a scheme which has not fully demonstrated it could meet the brief but shows potential for development and green which demonstrates it has met the brief. The reason for this approach was that the ultimate test of whether or not a satisfactory scheme Gan be produced will only be established when a planning application is submitted. Whichever developer was selected at this stage would have a great deal of work and hence cost to incur in developing their schemes to this stage, and proving its viability.

4.09 A panel of officers was set up with representatives from the Regeneration Section, Development Control Section, Engineering Services and Land and Property Services of ofricers and a representative from the Hebden Royd Town Council. The three companies were interviewed on 11 March 2005.

4.10 All the schemes were considered in the light of;

  • The requirements of the planning brief
  • Conservation issues
  • Scheme design
  • Car parking
  • Planning consideration
  • Highways and site access
  • Development and construction issues
  • General considerations; -extent of public supporuobjection - funding details and site offer - "benefits" over and above the requirements of the development brief

4.11 The presentations were inconclusive and a recommendation was deferred pending the submission of additional information. The additional information requested was;

  • how to overcome the constraint of the close proximity of the Croft Mill apartments and the need to ensure that the design can achieve the 12 metre minimum distance between the main aspect windows of the Croft and the proposed development. Also, due to the height of the proposed buildings, that design considerations could be introduced to minimise its impact.
  • details of the programme of community consultation that each company would expect to dedicate to this sensitive proposal prior to a planning application being made and in particular how they would work with the residents of the adjacent properties.
  • clarification of how the development would be funded.

4.12 As a result of this exercise, the conceptual plans/ideas are now much altered to those viewed by the public in the library. The table in the appendix attempts to summarise the concepts and ideas behind the schemes as they now stand.

4.13 In conclusion, it was considered that the Studio Baard proposal had the best chance of being developed into a scheme which could secure planning permission and the firm had the best understanding of the importance and difficulties that will be involved with developing the scheme along with the local community. The scheme demonstrated that;

  • The company is offeing the maximum number of car parking spaces in its scheme
  • The Company has given the greatest detail on measures to reduce the impact of development on adjacent properties through design features and layout
  • The Company is offering incorporation of additional public space design elements which will enhance the development and the area in general through improved pedestrian environment and sense of place.
  • The Company has included the most comprehensive public consultation programme in its proposals with a real understanding of the local issues and constraints of the site.

4.14 It is essential that the concerns of local people are given weight and the developer would thus have the task of working with the community to try to come up With a satisfactory proposal. The ultimate success will be based upon whether or not it can secure planning permission.


5.1 The procedure has allowed developers to suggest different options for the site.

5.2 In view of the objections and likely challenge under Human Rights legislation concerning potential loss of privacy to adjacent residential properties, the other option would be to not proceed with any redevelopment of the site at this time. This would mean that one of the only apparent options for increasing short stay car parking in the centre of Hebden Bridge would not be realised. Metro is investigating increasing surface car parking at the station, although this would be for commuters and long stay visitors.


6.1 The results of the consultation period, 04/02/05 until 04/03/05, were made freely available to the community and interested parties and a reference copy placed in the library. The consultation took two forms;

Respondents were asked to answer set questions by ticking the yes/no/no opinion option boxes on each of the following questions;

  • Do you like the design of the development?
  • Do you think the proposal reflects the character of Hebden Bridge and its conservation area?
  • Do you think the proposal relates well to its immediate surroundings and neighbouring buildings?
  • Do you think the proposal makes the best use of the site in general?
  • Do you think the development will be of positive benefit to the town?

The results from these set questions are shown in Appendix 1

Some respondents chose to write their own personal comments on the proposals in addition to/instead of answering the set questions. An exact transcript of all the comments made is available as a background document.

6.2 A letter of objection to all three schemes was received from the MP on 131

May 2005 with a request that Cabinet is made aware of this objection.

6.3 All responses and letters of objection received were made in relation to the schemes as they were first submitted. Some of these concerns have

already been addressed through the submission of the required additional information. Others will be addressed during the extensive community planning exercise that the developers will be expected to enter into following selection.


7.1 Following selection, the next financial stage will be to negotiate the heads of terms with the selected developer and a further report to Cabinet will be .made when full details have been negotiated and all implications considered.

7.2 The General Disposal Consent 2003 allows Local Authorities to sell off land, in certain circumstances, for less than its market value. However, the Government considers that the Authority should not divest itself of valuable public assets unless it is satisfied that the circumstances warrant such action. Terms for the General Disposal Consent refer to such disposals as "which the Authority considers will help it secure the promotion or improvement of the economic, social or environmental well being of the area".

7.3 It is considered that the unencumbered full market value of Site B would be in the region of £350,000 to £450,000, assuming that the site would achieve planning permission for residential development. A lower figure may be appropriate in respect of a reduced site area.

7.4 Should the site be disposed of on the basis of the development brief, it is considered that financial offers would be at a lower level that that outlined in 7.3 above. However, due to the complexities of this site and the precise nature of the proposed development is currently unknown, a valuation is not appropriate at this stage.

7.5 It is recommended that a valuation be prepared and submitted in a subsequent report to Cabinet in due course, once scheme proposals and financial offers have been submitted to the Council. At such time any "under value", being the difference between unrestricted open market value and a "less than best consideration", can be confirmed.

.6 Current annual income received from this site by the Council is around £35,000 per year. The management and maintenance of the car parking facility to be developed is to be negotiated between the developer and Calderdale Council. The issue of liability for and future maintenance of the retaining wall to the rear of the site must also be considered and resolved.


8.1 The development of Garden Street contributes to the council's corporate vision and is in line With the following corporate priority: To promote sustainable economic growth, respect local heritage and improve our towns, villages and neighbourhoods.


9.1 The proposal is being pursued to help address the shortage of car parking provision in the town and forms part of the Hebden Bridge Traffic Review. The purpose of selecting a preferred developer is to enable one company to work up a scheme to a position where a planning application can be submitted. The preferred developer will be expected to undertake a public consultation exercise over several months to build up to the formal planning application stage. It is recommended that this company be Studio BAAD.

9.2 Any scheme that goes forward as a planning application will have to seek to address many of the constraints and objections that have been raised during the consultation process so far. The final test of whether the scheme goes ahead or not will be whether the scheme gets planning consent.


Date: 16 June 2005

Janet Waggoft , Group Director, Regeneration & Development


Adrian Rose  Telephone: Hx 392246

DOCUMENTS USED IN THE PREPARATION OF THE REPORT: Conceptual designs and all supporting documents as received from the three companies Report of Consultation 04/02/05-04/03/05 Garden Street Redevelopment Brief Calderdale Unitary Development Plan


Planning Services, Northgate House, Halifax. Twenty-four hours' notice (excluding holiday and weekends) may be required in order to make material available. Please contact: Ext No 2240 to make arrangements for inspection.

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