Developer withdraws appeal against council's decsion to reject 174 home plan on quarry

A developer has withdrawn its appeal against Calderdale Council's decision to reject plans for a 174 housing development.

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 12:00 pm
Southedge quarry, Hipperholme.

In December 2020 councillors on the Council's planning committee rejected the proposals to build 174 homes on the former Soutedge Quarry site in Hipperholme.

An appeal was made by Strata Homes against the decision, however, it has been confirmed that the appeal has now been withdrawn

Concerns over moving contaminated waste and the impact on a key traffic junction persuaded a slim majority of councillors to reject plans to remediate the old quarry site in December 2020.

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Why did the plans originally get rejected?

Planning Committee councillors were worried about contaminated material being moved from one part of the site to another and remediating it before building new homes, and the impact resulting traffic movements might have on road junctions at Hipperholme and Brighouse, with the former regularly resulting in tailbacks.

Coun David Kirton said some years ago one application in the area was refused permission on the grounds it could not take place until “robust” improvements had been made to the junction at Hipperholme, and none had – it was already acknowledged to be at 100 per cent capacity.

Hipperholme and Brighouse were both subject to Air Quality Management Areas because of existing pollution problems, he said.

Coun Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said he was also extremely concerned about the contaminated waste, particularly as it was known it contained asbestos.

Officers said the Environment Agency had submitted a remediation strategy for this.

Highways officer Andrew Dmoch said thousands of vehicles went through the area every day and it would be difficult to defend an appeal on those grounds.

Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) said: “There is a history of Hipperholme lights causing serious traffic issues and there has never been a solution.”

Objector George Pitt said historically the site was a controlled waste tip for 40 years until closing in 1992 and there were “mountains of contaminated industrial waste” – the proposals would only move this from the development area to the public area of the proposed site.

Coun George Robinson (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said the amount of waste which would be excavated, 130,000 cubic metres, would fill 52 Olympic sized swimming pools.

“It is inconceivable we are going to dig up a landfill to create another landfill,” he said.

Head of planning for Strata Homes, Claire Linley, said that less than one vehicle per minute would be added by the scheme to issues at Hipperholme lights, a green space would ultimately be created and the significant remediation and number of new homes would be an overarching benefit for Calderdale.

Issues with asbestos content would be “ironed out” in the Environment Agency’s licensing procedure, she said.

Officers said the council had received 139 letters of objection and one letter of support were received over the plans.

Councillors voted narrowly, four to three, to refuse permission.