Residents in Calderdale village step up campaign against Local Plan housing proposals

Residents in a Calderdale village are stepping up their campaign against the borough’s proposed local plan.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 25th February 2022, 7:00 am

Greetland residents are campaigning against allocation of land for 600 homes which are included in the draft Local Plan, which has been subject to a series of hearings over the last three years.

Following flooding in the village amid Storm Franklin’s battering of the north of England last weekend, residents say floodwater from Black Brook, Greetland, deluged fields where homes are earmarked and caused flooding to some residences.

And next week councillors will consider a petition submitted by residents calling for West Vale, which is in Greetland and Stainland ward, to be given official Air Quality Management Area status – the impact a large number of new homes might have on air quality is another of their major worries.

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Campaigners at Greetland protest against proposals in the draft Local Plan after last weekend’s flooding

Residents and Conservative councillors – Coun Jacob Cook, who represents the ward, and council group leader Coun Steven Leigh (Ryburn) – met media representatives to voice their concerns.

Lyndsey Ashton, of Greetland Pressure Group, who has put their case at the Local Plan hearing sessions, said at the weekend land where homes are planned was completely covered by fast-moving water.

“This is why we so desperately need to protect the natural flood plains by maintaining the green belt on Saddleworth Road which soaks up the floodwater before it has the chance to raise the level of floodwater down here and flood properties and businesses,” she said.

Coun Cook said building on brownfield sites should be the priority rather than sacrificing green belt land and Coun Leigh said said there was “vociferous” opposition to inclusion of the sites all along the valley and he thought the campaigners had a very good point – “it’s not the place,” he said.

Calderdale Council says it will only allow housebuilding on sites that do not have the potential to flood and new development will have to have proper drainage measures.

The council said in a statement that the Local Plan has been subject to a Flood Risk Assessment and the Environment Agency has been consulted throughout the process, and green field sites with the potential to flood were rejected early in the process.

Potential developer for the site Barratt Homes said if approved the site will have a sustainable drainage system installed which will reduce water run-off rates, significantly slow the flow of water, lower flood risk and improve resilience against heavy rainfall.

Residents remain unconvinced and are also concerned about impact new homes may have on air quality.

The petition which the council’s Place Scrutiny Board will debate next Thursday (March 3) calls on the council to bring official Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) status to West Vale due to their concerns about air quality as it is and referencing the impact campaigners believe a potential 600 new homes at sites identified in the Local Plan will have.

The council says air quality there does not yet meet the threshold for it to be declared as an AQMA.

Nitrogen dioxide levels are measured at two locations in West Vale, on the B6112 Stainland Road between the junctions with the B6113 and B6114 roads, in accordance with statutory guidance, says the authority.

Planning Inspector Katie Child, who oversaw the hearings, will decide whether or not the draft Local Plan is sound and should be implemented.

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