D-Day over controversial 105 home plan on Halifax industrial site

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Controversial plans to develop 105 homes on a former industrial site in Halifax could get the go-ahead next week.

Planners are recommending proposals to build the homes at land off Phoebe Lane, Siddal Top Lane, Siddal, be approved when they are put before Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee next Tuesday (May 8, 6pm).

Some residents are objecting to the plans and councillors have also expressed concern particularly over highways issues and safety matters relating to part of the site’s former use for coal mining.

However officers say these issues must be addressed before any actual building work could begin and the application, submitted by Mr and Mrs M. Akram, is for outline permission only.

Sixty four letters of representation have been received by the council on the issue, which include two letters of support which argue the scheme would develop a site which has become an eyesore.

But Town ward councillors Tim Swift and Megan Swift (both Labour), who requested the plans be put before councillors, say serious issues need addressing.

They say: “Siddal as a whole is already at breaking point in terms of traffic and congestion. Major development on this site will increase traffic volumes on other highly congested routes including Siddal Lane, Oxford Lane and Whitegate Road.”

They are especially concerned about problems which may surface due to part of the site’s former use for coal mining.

“The Coal Mining Assessment document submitted with the application clearly identifies very substantial risks to the development arising from previous mining.

“When nearby properties were constructed…significant voids were discovered during construction which required massive quantities of infill material and created major costs in terms of site stability,” said the councillors.

“In addition there are known drainage issues associated with former mine workings throughout the Siddal area.

“For these reasons, an outline application which does not investigate these issues and identifies the likely cost of remedial activity is not appropriate as it could lead to a principle of development being approved on a site where development is economically not feasible.”

Officers argue the proposal is acceptable subject to conditions including site investigation reports and a traffic scheme being approved before building work could begin, in the case of the former, or homes occupied, in the case of the latter.

The application is outline only and detailed issues would be reserved for subsequent approval.