Northowram village gains conservation boost

Northowram village has gained conservation status after more than three years of planning and proposals.

The plans were accepted by Calderdale council at a cabinet meeting last week.

The conservation area seeks to preserve the historic village core, its architectural character and remaining rural settings.

It also means tighter controls over the demolition of buildings, minor developments such as porches, extensions, satellite dishes and boundary walls and work to trees.

Councillor Stephen Baines said: "I am delighted the preservation status is in place now.

"Hopefully it will help to stop obtrusive developments within the Northowram village centre.

"We want buildings that are more in keeping with the older parts of the village.

"Over the last 10 years Northowram has grown tremendously and in some cases, parts of the historic village have been spoiled by the overdevelopment, like Haven Close with 3-storey terraced houses that are totally against the buildings surrounding them.

"This measure won't stop a development going ahead but the buildings must be in keeping with their surroundings."

Mike Beecham has been living in Northowram for 60 years and is a member of Northowram Village Society and Northowram Historic Society.

He said: "The regulations aren't as restrictive as people might think.

It is a relief because we have been fighting to stop a lot of development and the infrastructure is really under strain.

"Many developers don't have interest in the village, they just want to cram everything in and the town was becoming overloaded.

"The conservation status didn't take into account the Westcroft side, which is disappointing, but we will fight for this area to be involved as well."

Mike is also in the process of launching a Northowram website which will have information from both societies as well as old photographs, local business information and upcoming events.

He added: "We are always trying to find old pictures of Northowram because it helps to build up the history that we're trying to preserve.

"The area has so much history and it has never really been consolidated, so the website is a chance to do that."

Anyone with pictures should contact Mike via the website at www.northowram.org when it is launched in the next couple of weeks.