Halifax flat complex given go-ahead despite residents' protests

Residents protesting against the development
Residents protesting against the development

Plans to convert a former social services building into 38 one-bedroomed flats have been given the go-ahead in the face of residents’ and councillors’ concerns.

Residents held a demonstration against the proposals for 1 Park Road, Halifax, submitted by Otley-based Prospect Estates Ltd, which they say will add to traffic chaos in an area better suited to family-sized homes.

Park ward councillor Jenny Lynn (Labour) presented a 125-name petition to the full meeting of Calderdale Council on their behalf and they were also supported by Coun Andrew Tagg (Conservative, Skircoat).

The plans were submitted using “permitted development” rules under national planning regulations.

This means proposals do not require planning permission to be submitted for some types of development.

Only traffic issues may have halted the plans and were highlighted by residents also concerned at a lack of family homes in the area, which borders People’s Park.

A larger number of single bedroom flats had the potential to make a bad traffic and parking situation worse, just 50 metres from a conservation area, they said.

They pointed out there are already many other one-bedroom developments in the area whereas family-sized homes with at least two bedrooms are in shorter supply and hoped they might be considered as an alternative.

A spokesperson before the full council meeting on April 11 said: “We as a community feel that family homes are very short throughout the whole of Halifax and that there are a number of one-bed homes already within the town centre.

“By having the building provide 19 or 20 two-bed much needed family homes that would help – there are three schools close by, a park, it is close to all amenities and close to a number of churches and the Madni mosque, all different faiths that integrate well within the multi racial community that is Halifax.

“We also worry that if the building was converted into 38 one bed properties, then it will increase the flow of traffic around the aforementioned schools, park and places of worship.

“This will be a worry as the building is situated at the end of a street that has only one entrance/exit route.”

Highways officers said usually one parking space per two dwellings would be required for an application to be supported and there were only six spaces proposed for use for the 38 homes.

They also acknowledged Traffic Regulation Orders operated on local roads near the site during the working day, and there may still be increased competition for parking.

“However, it is considered that it would be difficult to defend a refusal on parking grounds at any ensuing planning appeal due to the proximity to Halifax town centre,” officers said.

The amount of town centre publically available parking close by was the relevant factor, they concluded.