Anger over consultation on Hebden Bridge house plans

unhappy: Jennifer Byrom, Alfie Byrom, 12, Nancy Noble-Milner, Carole Denneny, John Noble-Milner and Drew Magiera.
unhappy: Jennifer Byrom, Alfie Byrom, 12, Nancy Noble-Milner, Carole Denneny, John Noble-Milner and Drew Magiera.

Angry residents in Hebden Bridge say people have not had a fair chance to have their say over plans for 20 new homes in the town.

The group of campaigners claim there has been a lack of notices from Calderdale Council about the proposed development and how residents nearby can have their say during the consultation period.

Affordable homes planned for rural communities in Calderdale
Mark Hill said: “The consultation hasn’t involved anyone locally. There have been no notices around the area. People don’t know that now is the time to make their feelings known. People aren’t aware that it is in its formal consultation period.

“The proposed buildings are ugly. They’re quite different to what Hebden Bridge houses usually look like, very out of kilter with the rest of the local area. The appearance of Hebden Bridge is one of its big attractions, but these are fabricated houses with no stones or bricks and they would be built on unstable land.”

Andrew Bibby, Secretary of Calder Valley Community Land Trust, which is behind the development, said: “After more than three years of discussions and planning, our proposal to bring housing back to High Street in Hebden Bridge is now in for planning consent.

“This is a non-commercial development which will see 20 new homes available at affordable rents, primarily targeted at local young people priced out of the Hebden Bridge housing market. High Street was once densely packed with terraced housing and we believe our proposals will help bring this part of the town back to life after more than 60 years.

“From our first public consultation in early 2016 onwards, we’ve tried to take on board feedback we’ve received.

"We’ve discussed the design with the local Disability Access Forum to ensure the homes are accessible and we’re planning homes which are energy-efficient and sustainable.

"We’ve increased parking provision as requested, and hope to keep a car for shared use on the site. The development has also been reduced from 24 to 20 homes, following concerns from neighbours living nearby.”

Calderdale Council’s corporate lead for planning, Richard Seaman, said: “There are legal requirements in place to publicise planning developments and all publicity is in accordance with these requirements and our own policies.

"In the case of this development, notification letters have been sent to 59 neighbouring properties, site notices have been posted this week and the press notice will be published today.

“The consultation period will end on October 19 and all comments will be taken into consideration.”