Local Plan: Senior councillors agree to use special powers for road needed for new Calderdale business park

Calderdale councillors have approved “in principle” using compulsory purchase powers to secure land which would become a £12.2 million link road for a proposed new business park.
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Calderdale Council’s cabinet members heard the road will also support proposed garden communities in Brighouse, which could see thousands of new homes built at Thornhills – as indicated in the council’s new Local Plan – and, by providing a direct route between Clifton Common (A643) and Wakefield Road (A644), it should help alleviate congestion in Brighouse town centre.

This in turn will complement a corridor improvement scheme for the A641 linking Bradford and Kirklees via Brighouse, said the council’s cabinet member for Climate Action, Active Travel and Housing, Coun Scott Patient.

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The senior councillors also agreed to submit a £600,000 bid to West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Employment Land Accelerator Fund to pay for the next stages of work for the Clifton Business Park.

Councillor Scott Patient has explained why Calderdale Council needs the roadCouncillor Scott Patient has explained why Calderdale Council needs the road
Councillor Scott Patient has explained why Calderdale Council needs the road

Coun Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot) admitted progress since cabinet first agreed in principle to use compulsory purchase powers for Clifton Business Park land issues in 2020 had been “disappointing”.

It was not now appropriate to proceed with the making of a compulsory purchase order under the Planning Act, as was then intended, hence the change to seeking such powers under the Highways Act.

“The council has continued to correspond with the principle landowner in an attempt to acquire the site by agreement,” he said.

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“However, it has not been possible to reach agreement on terms that are acceptable to both parties and legally compliant.”

Coun Patient said the accelerator funding would see the council link with a preferred developer for the business park and continue to build momentum towards delivering the project, set to deliver around 1,300 jobs by 2035.

“Employment land accelerator funding will significantly improve the council’s ability to progress the development of Clifton Business Park,” he said.

Bids made by the council for Levelling Up funding to Government in 2021 and 2022 were unsuccessful but cabinet have resolved to keep exploring funding options for the scheme which they see as crucial to developing Calderdale’s economy, mixing public funding with specialist commercial developers’ experience, said the briefing papers.