West Vale Lidl: Plan for new supermarket in Calderdale village could be scuppered by emergency conservation area bid

Councillors are being asked to back an emergency bid which could cause difficulties for a supermarket giant hoping to build a new store in Calderdale.
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Lidl wants to build a new supermarket in West Vale where Horsfall’s Mill used to be off, Saddleworth Road, and its planning application would involve demolishing all the existing buildings on the site.

Calderdale Council officers believe some of the buildings are of sufficient architectural and historical interest, and are worth saving, but because they are not listed, they do not have any planning protection.

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The buildings include a former mill office and a group of two foremen’s houses built of local stone which date to the latter half of the 19th century.

The proposed site for new Lidl supermarket at former Horsfall's Mill, West Vale.The proposed site for new Lidl supermarket at former Horsfall's Mill, West Vale.
The proposed site for new Lidl supermarket at former Horsfall's Mill, West Vale.

The officers say the buildings are in good condition and were lived in until earlier this year.

Although the planning application has yet to be fully considered – and planning officers have indicated they have some issues with the proposal – as they are not listed, planning permission is not required for their demolition, say briefing papers to the council’s cabinet members.

Lidl has now submitted prior notice of proposed demolition for the buildings and officers have told the senior councillors that designation of the site as a conservation area is the most appropriate mechanism to give them some protection, as demolition would then require planning permission.

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When they meet at Halifax Town hall on Monday, August 7 (from 3pm and webcast on the council’s public-i channel), cabinet members are being asked to approve the designation of the area as a conservation area in order to enable this action.

Officers say of the buildings: “It is considered that as the buildings are primarily of local importance, their significance lies in part in their contribution to the historic character of West Vale.”

The supermarket’s proposals have already been controversial. Last year people in five houses near the site were given just eight weeks to leave their homes to make way for the new development.

Ward councillor Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) helped residents secure extra time to move and find new places to live.