Go-ahead for homes despite Calder Valley MP and more than 120 objections

Councillors have given the go-ahead to a Rastrick homes plan despite more than 120 objections to it, including an MP and ward councillors.
Land off Bowling Alley, Rastrick, site of proposed housing development.Land off Bowling Alley, Rastrick, site of proposed housing development.
Land off Bowling Alley, Rastrick, site of proposed housing development.

On a split decision, Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee supported planning officers’ recommendation to be mindful to permit John Crossley’s outline application to build 26 homes at land off Bowling Alley, subject to legal agreements over some highways, education, open space and affordable homes issues, and subject to planning conditions.

Members made their decision after hearing an extra condition, which would prioritise sustainable drainage along lines suggested by Yorkshire Water, could also be imposed.

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Concerns raised by objectors ranged from highways issues, including safety and parking, and drainage, design and amenity matters, to the impact on wildlife and the environment but officers feel these can be overcome by the legal agreements and conditions.

Mr Cooper, speaking on behalf of objectors, said the plans would have a detrimental effect in an area where there was already considerable on-street and “pavement” parking, and where residents had concerns about access, road safety, structural damage, including potential impact of heavy goods vehicles servicing the site, and a high risk of flooding.

“This development is not sustainable – the local community with 124 objections have overwhelmingly rejected this application,” he said.

Coun Robert Thornber (Con, Ryburn) was concerned about access, which would be built through from Scholey Avenue, and wanted to know why Bowling Alley had not been considered.

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Agent for the applicant, Roger Lee, said Bowling Alley would have had to be widened and the Scholey Avenue access had become an option after the applicant had bought some land which allowed it – from a developer’s point of view it was more tenable.

Coun Sophie Whittaker (Con, Rastrick) – whose father Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker also opposed the proposals – urged the committee to look at the objections submitted by residents and some consultees and find them “legitimate, defensible and somewhat overlooked.”

Extensive development in Rastrick in recent years had seen open space disappear, she said.

Mr Lee said biodiversity and open space impact had been heavily discussed and and some of the conditions reflected and met concerns.

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Coun Sarah Courtney (Lab, Calder) was concerned the council could end up with less control over applications in the borough as a whole because it was not building enough homes and could lose some of its planning powers.

Planning lead Richard Seaman said the land was designated for homes in the draft Local Plan, now being considered by a Planning Inspector, which would make it difficult to defend an appeal.

Councillors heard the application was outline, establishing development in principle, with a detailed application to be considered later.