Calderdale mill to be transformed into townhouses and apartments

Permission has been granted for the mill site in Calderdale
Permission has been granted for the mill site in Calderdale

A Calderdale mill can be converted into 10 new townhouses and 10 new apartments, with another four new-build apartments included in the package.

Worthington Homes Ltd applied to Calderdale Council for permission to convert Melbourne Mill, Melbourne Street, Hebden Bridge, into the homes plus the four new apartments.

It was a revision to an existing permission and received the support of Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee, which agreed it should be permitted.

The application had received 15 letters of objection on grounds it would reduce street parking for residents, increasing problems, and during construction neighbours would be subject to pollution, dust and movement of construction vehicles.

They were also concerned about how development would affect big public vehicles requiring access to the area including emergency vehicles and bin lorries.

Others said the new build element should be rejected and some argued that an alternative scheme for larger but fewer buildings should be developed.

Privacy concerns had also been voiced from residents whose homes would be overlooked by the apartments.

Others said there were unrealistic expectations that new residents would not have cars and that extra vehicles would park on the other side of the street, reinforcing access concerns for larger vehicles.

However, Hebden Royd Town Council did not object to the application.

Councillors believed they could support the recommendation from council planners that the application should be permitted, although they had questions about the detail.

Coun Colin Hutchinson (Lab, Skircoat) asked questions about what percentage of new developments, under national policy guidelines, should be available for affordable housing but officers said the council had not yet got an adopted local figure in its Local Plan, so the application started from that point.

Coun Hutchinson also asked about the policy on car-free developments within towns. Officers replied it was a valid point but was not considered in this case where the aim was to try and increase sustainability.

An agent for the applicant said the proposals were the most appropriate use for a traditional mill and brownfield site in a conservation area and in a sustainable location.

A key issue for residents was parking, she said, but: “The intention is to create homes that don’t require or need you to have a car.”

Therefore the “50-50” agreement with the council was appropriate for the location, she said.

In answer to a question from Coun Hutchinson she said the number of electrical charging points – he said the plan only seemed to refer to one – was not limited and it would be acceptable to change the wording to refer to “vehicles”, plural.

Councillors heard that as part of the package, a Section 106 agreement would see the developers pay a sum of £40,000 in lieu of affordable housing on the site.

Proposing the application be approved, Coun David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said: “Personally, I think this is a great scheme, making use of old industrial premises and I am happy to move officers’ recommendations.”