Retirement village is ‘in the wrong place’

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DEVELOPERS who wanted to build a 60-bed retirement home and 104 apartments at Sunny Vale, Hipperholme, have been told to think again.

Calderdale Council turned down the scheme because of the effect on the green belt.

Now an appeal by the company, Blackshaw Holdings, has been rejected by planning inspector J. P. Watson.

The site chosen for the retirement village was the former Monoplas factory in Badger Lane.

Blackshaw also hoped to provide a social centre, a bowling green and allotments.

But neighbours and the Sunny Vale Residents’ Association said they were concerned about the plan, particularly the traffic implications.

According to the planning inspector, measures were proposed to protect bats, newts and other wildlife but not the considerable tree cover.

“The existing industrial buildings are generally in poor repair and detract from the appearance of the site and it is expected that some improvement would flow from the appeal proposal.

“There are elements of sustainability in the proposal and the transport assessment supports the view that it would generate less traffic that its established use.”

But Mr Watson said it had not been shown that there would be any merit in locating jobs associated with the development to Hipperholme.

“The circumstances are not very special and so the development should not be approved because in terms of planning policy it is inappropriate in the green belt.”

*Figures show the number of people in Calderdale aged 65 to 74 will rise by 36 per cent between 2006 and 2016 and there will be an additional 1,600 people over the age of 75.

Brighouse, Rastrick and Hipperholme and Lightcliffe area have been singled out by the council for extra housing and employment.

A 106-bedroomed three-storey nursing home, Summerfield House, is due to open before Christmas in Gibbet Street, Halifax.

Adults, health and social care spokesman, Coun Bob Metcalfe (Lab, Town) told Calderdale Council: “The space and standard of finish and amenities look impressive.”