Objectors to Taylor Wimpey Yorkshire and Crosslee Properties Ltd’s reserved measures application to build 50 homes at land south of Brookelands, Brighouse Road, and a full application to develop 41 homes, plus associated access and ancillary works, at land east of Southedge Works, also on Brighouse Road, had argued the two sites should be treated as one.
Coun George Robinson, whose comments were read out at the Calderdale Council Planning Committee meeting, and objector George Pitt, of Hipperholme and Lightcliffe Ward Planning Group, both expressed concern about the cumulative impact of developments potentially totalling hundreds of new homes in the area.
Together, and including sites not featured in these applications, these would put strain on the heavily congested traffic-lighted Hipperholme crossroads junction, with resulting worries about air quality and impact on health, they said.
“There will be dire implications for the quality of life of local residents,” said Coun Robinson (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe).
Mr Pitt said even small increases in traffic had a disproportionate impact on the crossroads and Brighouse Road itself would see a 35 per cent increase in traffic as a result of these two applications.
Planning lead officer Richard Seaman said they “essentially they amount to a single development” but councillors were told the applications had to be treated separately as one already had outline permission and the applicant was entitled under planning law to pursue the reserved matters.
Councillors, and Mr Pitt, were worried about the Brookelands application’s impact on a key wildlife corridor but ultimately committee members felt they could find no reason to turn down the application and it was approved.
Highway congestion and air quality issues objectors had voiced were deemed to have been considered at the application’s outline approval stage – the council had refused the proposals on these grounds but they were approved by a Planning Inspector on appeal.
Objectors expressed similar concerns over the second application.
Agent for the company, Mark Eagland, did not disagree proposals followed the same thread and he also referenced proposals for the factory site itself, which would include a supermarket and a retirement complex and for which an outline application had been readied, spoken about in hearings into Calderdale’s draft Local Plan earlier in the day.
He argued the applications worked together and the new homes were in walking distance of Hipperholme centre and schools on a route with frequent bus services, all of which would help limit vehicle use and made best use of common infrastructure including access and drainage.
The developments would be a great advantage to local shops and businesses, he said.
But objectors were not convinced and had support from ward Coun David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe).
He said: “We have discussed Hipperholme so many times and I have queued at those traffic lights on a regular basis.”
However his amendment to refuse the Southedge application fell and councillors were mindful to permit the application, subject to a legal agreement and conditions.
Councillors did not seem happy, shown by Coun Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) saying he was struggling to come up with a strong enough reason to refuse, given that as a working factory hundreds of workers’ vehicles a day would once have used the site.
Mr Seaman had said it would be very difficult to defend refusal on the suggested grounds given officer evidence in the report coupled with Calderdale’s poor history of house building, and he believed it would be likely an inspector would be likely to award costs against the council if the decision was appealed.
On the Southedge application the applicant will enter into a section 106 agreement which councillors heard would include ten affordable homes being included on this site, six for rent and four for shared ownership, and a contribution of around £240,000 towards education.