Controversial Calderdale mill proposal to go back before planning committee

Proposals for Hebble End Mill will go before Calderdale Council's planning committee
Proposals for Hebble End Mill will go before Calderdale Council's planning committee

Councillors will again consider controversial proposals to extend a Calderdale mill to provide holiday lets.

Early in July councillors deferred a decision on David Fletcher’s plans for Hebble End Mill, Hebble End, Hebden Bridge, because they were unsure about the effect it would have on close neighbours.

The proposals to extend the first floor of the mill attracted 55 letters of objection and Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee heard negotiations had been ongoing for a year to reach the stage where planning officers recommended they be approved.

When the committee meets again at Halifax Town Hall next Tuesday, August 13, from 2pm, officers’ view has not changed.

The briefing paper to councillors shows an amended scheme to enable part of the new roof to be pushed back from the original building line, lowering of an exisiting wall and introduction of a sloping roof at this part of the development to address concerns over the amenity of residents at two addresses at Hebble End and heritage issues, say officers.

If the development is given the go-ahead, it will see the development of a £250,000 Northlight roof, a rare thing these days, Mr Fletcher told councillors in July..

He said the extension was needed to develop the holiday lets, in which it was anticipated no more than 16 people would be resident in the eight apartments at any one time, to bring in income to pay for the new roof.

But objectors’ concerns include the effect of construction work, loss of privacy, impact on businesses which are housed in the mill, access issues, infrastructure, heritage, space and light, and wildlife concerns.

In particular councillors were concerned about the loss of natural light and privacy that may effect some of the mill’s nearest neighbours, at Hebble End.

On balance, say officers, potential issues regarding privacy and access can be overcome – strongly disputed by objectors – and argue it meets the council’s planning criteria.