D-day over 78 Rastrick housing plan between M62 motorway and fire station

Homes plan by the M62
Homes plan by the M62

Calderdale councillors are being asked to give the go-ahead for 78 new homes at Rastrick when they meet next week.

Keepmoat Homes and Thornhill Estates Ltd have submitted amended plans for the homes on land south of the fire station at Clough Lane.

Access to the homes will be from New Hey Road and the application is recommended for approval by Calderdale Council planners, who say it represents a reduction in the number of houses planned from 113 to 78.

Nineteen letters of objection have been received, with the council’s Planning Committee set to consider them when it meets at Halifax Town Hall next Tuesday, August 13, from 2pm.

Although the land, also next to the M62 motorway, is actually in Elland ward, Rastrick ward Coun Sophie Whittaker (Con) objects because it falls into the designated area for Rastrick Neighbourhood Forum.

The forum itself has provided three of the letters of objection and these raise more than 60 grounds for objections.

Residents’ comments highlight concerns including air quality, over-intensification of use, inadequate infrastructure, loss of green space, highways, parking and speeding issues, and air and noise pollution.

They include Mr Martin Walker who is not convinced by lower housing numbers or their type.

“The reduced number of dwellings does not reflect the needs of the local community.

“There is no provision for social housing and not enough one and two bedroom properties.

“The proposed dwellings will encourage commuting to Manchester and Leeds which will add to the serious existing problems of traffic management.

“Within the last month there has been a serious traffic accident opposite the Roundhill public house at 11am,” he wrote.

Another resident, Ann Crossley agrees with traffic concerns and raises infrastructure issues.

“Whilst public transport routes are being reduced, general infrastructure similarly overloaded – GP and dental surgeries are over subscribed, as are local schools.

“Parking is a major problem as older properties around the area have little or no parking spaces and over spill the surrounding streets,” she said.

And Edward Hirst says in his objection: “The quality of the air next to one of the busiest motorways in the country will be horrendous…we are rapidly running out of green space in the Rastrick area.

“Before long Halifax and Huddersfield will be one large conurbation.

“This development is a step too far.”

Coun Whittaker says: “The infrastructure of the Rastrick ward and wider area is inadequate to cope with the extra pressures that the proposed development on this site would bring with local services such as school places, doctors’ surgeries, dentists, transport links and capacity, highways and sewage systems being pushed beyond capacity.

“Unless the major concerns and reasons for objection outlined by residents and consultees are addressed, I am unable to support this proposal.”

Briefing papers to councillors say although a previous case dating to 2011, referred to by the forum, cites a home refused permission because of a presumption against using greenfield sites, new national planning policy rules have changed the position.

Adverse impacts have been reduced to a minimum, say planners, and at 32 homes per hectare the 2.4 hectare development would make effective use of the available land.

It is likely the developers would have to pay for some improvements, most notable a package of sustainable transport measures including discounted MetroCards at a cost of more than £56,000, say the briefing notes.

Planning officers say infrastructure issues will be addressed by the council’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan which runs alongside the council’s Local Plan – which is still out for examination.

They say there are no material grounds to outweigh presumption in favour of the development in line with national planning rules.