Hope expensive public enquiry into A629 scheme between Halifax and Huddersfield can be avoided
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet is being asked to withdraw compulsory purchase orders approved for land related to the ongoing, ambitious multi-million pound A629 scheme, in order to avoid a potentially expensive public inquiry.
When members meet on Monday, July 5, they will be asked to withdraw four CPO approvals given between July 2016 and June 2020, subject to all the plots being acquired by voluntary sales.
Members have previously been told CPOs are used as a last resort with the preferred method being to obtain the land through voluntary sales, and following the previous approvals five objections to them were raised.
But voluntary negotiation has largely been successful for the plots, which include some at Salterhebble, Halifax and negotiations are very advanced to secure the remaining plots, say briefing papers to councillors.
Notwithstanding this progress, the process of examining a composite CPO by Public Inquiry has now been instigated by the Secretary of State and is due to be held at some time before September 22 – unless either objections to the CPO or the CPO itself is withdrawn.
The CPO is now not seen as necessary and it is therefore considered appropriate to withdraw this and avoid the costs of a public inquiry, councillors have been told.
It is recognised that a decision to withdraw the CPOs could be challenged by the single remaining non-statutory objector – Northern Power Grid – by applying for Judicial Review, but council officers consider it unlikely this would happen.
The A629 scheme as a whole aims to improve the main highway between Huddersfield and Halifax and bring improvements to Halifax town centre, including reducing journey time, developing sustainable alternative methods of transport, making the town more visitor friendly and unlocking new development and job creation.
If Cabinet members agree to withdraw the CPOs, objectors will be notified of their decision.