Flooding fears pull the plug on housing plan

Under water: youngsters paddle through the A646 at King Street, Mytholm, during the floods
Under water: youngsters paddle through the A646 at King Street, Mytholm, during the floods
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A CHANGE of heart by planners has put the skids under the biggest building project in Hebden Bridge.

Developers were twice given planning permission for dozens of homes and a workshop on a former factory site at King Street, Mytholm.

But the latest bid by Belmont Homes to renew its planning application for 58 properties has been turned down.

The Environment Agency is worried about the possible threat from flooding – the low-lying site is only separated from the River Calder by the A646 Burnley Road.

A huge textile mill once dominated the King Street site and was later replaced by an engineering factory which closed a decade ago.

The land is earmarked for employment use but councillors and planners had been convinced that homes and offices/light industry would be a suitable mix.

The Environment Agency objected to the scheme in 2007 but then gave it the thumbs up, subject to detailed conditions relating to finished floor levels and a flood-warning scheme.

But policies have changed since then and a a flood-risk model now suggests the risk to the site is significantly worse that originally thought, according to the council’s head of planning, Geoff Willerton.

He said: “The agency has objected to the developers’ flood-risk assessment submitted with this new application.

“The 2010 modelling study suggests flood depths at the entrance to the site could be in the region of two metres so an alternative safe entrance and exit route in times of flood must be identified.”

The entrance flooded in 2000 and again a couple of years ago, blocking the A646 to Todmorden.

Rejecting the planning application, Mr Willerton said the flood mitigation measures agreed previously were now inadequate. The scheme has also been turned down because the access and turning space for refuse collection vehicles is considered to be lacking.

Hebden Royd Town Council recommended refusal of the planning application because of delays in implementing the original scheme and concerns over “land banking.”