Hipperholme home plan refused on highway grounds

Councillors were not convinced improvements to an access road were sufficient to enable a planning application to be approved.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 7:00 am

Members of Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee voted to refuse Mr Jim Hodkinson’s proposal to improve the access at Holly Bank Drive, Hipperholme, by creating a turning head.

Mr Hodkinson had applied to demolish the existing garage at The Hollies which is on Holly Bank Drive, and build a new garage to the house to allow access to a new home in the garden, and provision of a new turning head there.

Nine letters of objection citing concerns including the narrowness of the road, road safety and drainage concerns were received, although councillors were told private matters involving access rights were not in their scope to consider as a planning issue.

A planning application was rejected

Councillors heard the narrow track access exited onto the main A58, and vehicles had to either reverse down it or drive in front ways and reverse out, as it stood at the moment.

Coun David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) asked officers why they were recommending councillors be mindful to approve the plans when highways officers said they did not think it was safe and similar applications had been turned down on four separate occasions.

Planning officers said the original application did not include the turning head but with the changes highways found it acceptable.

Highways officer Dean Taylor said his objections would remain but the turning head mitigated the situation slightly.

John Robins, speaking for objectors, said the highways department had been clear in its original objections and only after a sudden intervention had this changed.

“This application is an unnecessary intensification of a sub-standard access,” he said.

Mr Robins said the highways department had clearly objected and had a sudden change of heart because of the threat of legal action and an appeal.

Applicant Mr Hodkinson said the final comment made by senior highways officer Andrew Dmoch following legal advice was that a section 106 agreement regarding the turning head could be imposed, and made a difference.

The turning head would also benefit all users of the road, the benefit outweighing one home being added, he said.

Planning Lead Officer Richard Seaman said he wanted to clarify the legal advice was only pertaining to the section 106 agreement being an appropriate way of ensuring the turning head was included. No-one disagreed the road was sub-standard as it was, he said.

Coun Kirton said he knew the area well as ward councillor and if you were travelling along and did not know the turnoff was there you would miss it.

“In my opinion it is a very, very dangerous access and egress point onto a very, very busy road,” he said, recommending the plans be refused on highway safety grounds.

He also feared it would set a precedent, although Mr Seaman said every application was treated on its own merits.

Ultimately a majority of councillors agreed with Coun Kirton, and the committee refused the application.

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