The hopes and fears for Halifax

A buzzing shopping centre. Pictured here is a typical day in Woolshops
A buzzing shopping centre. Pictured here is a typical day in Woolshops

NEARLY 100,000 people live in and around Halifax and whatever the planners decide, it seems certain that it will continue to be a focus for growth.

But the Local Development Framework asks whether other parts of Calderdale should get a bigger share of the new housing, businesses and infrastructure improvements.

Since 2001, the population of Halifax has risen by 5.9 per cent and nearly half of the 5,700 additional residents are aged 16 - 24.

During the same period, 4,000 new homes have been built bringing the total to 41,500.

But an estimated 1,130 dwellings have been empty for more than six months.

Nearly 45,000 people work in Halifax including 16,000 in the town centre and 5,500 in manufacturing.

There is an abundance of office accommodation but much is of poor quality and unfit for modern use.

The centre boasts quality shops and a flourishing nightlife - a cinema, bowling alley, hotel and eateries are being built at Broad Street.

There is wide variation in levels of deprivation between different areas of Halifax - in some, at least one in three people has a limiting long-term illness.

Bus and rail links are good but congestion on the main roads gives cause for concern, particularly at peak times.

By 2025, traffic is predicted to increase by 19 per cent.

“It could take an extra six or seven minutes to travel from the town centre to the M62 using the A58 and four to five minutes longer using the A629.”

There are 39 schools and 28 are full.

The draft Development Framework says Halifax needs more shops and leisure facilities enabling it to compete with neighbouring towns and cities.

Halifax businessman Roger Harvey, said any available flat land in Halifax should be earmarked for employment use.

“There is no point having more houses if we don’t have jobs for the people who are going to live in them,” he said.