Landowner ‘has run rings round council for years’

New bus lay by on Halifax Road, Hipperholme, in front of Thompson Close Flats - pictured on left.
New bus lay by on Halifax Road, Hipperholme, in front of Thompson Close Flats - pictured on left.

A councillor has again slammed council handling of the long-running A58 bus lay-by saga.

Coun Colin Raistrick said they had allowed the landowner to “run rings around them for years.”

Papers that would have handed the lay-by to the council from owner Bill Ibberson should have been signed by the end of February – but still haven’t.

Coun Raistrick, who has been campaigning for 12 years to see the Hipperholme lay-by finished, said: “I’ve been very critical of council officers in the past because they don’t know how to deal with someone like Bill Ibberson.

“He has been running rings around them for years.”

The lay-by remains fenced off because of a row between the owner of a nearby development and Calderdale Council.

David Tee, head of highways, said there was still no end in sight.

“The process for transferring the land into council ownership is taking longer than expected.

“The process has not been as straightforward as envisaged. Council solicitors and surveyors are working hard so the matter can be drawn to a satisfactory conclusion.”

Once the transaction is complete, work to divert an electricity cable can be ordered.

Mr Tee added: “There is a 12-week lead-in for this work, which will take two weeks. Then contractors will take about three weeks to complete the construction.”

According to information released under the Freedom of Information Act, the dispute has cost the council £13,000 in legal fees, £417 in land and property costs and £5,180 for design and engineering.

In February it was announced the complete work will cost £33,000, which will come from the capital programme.