New crossroads plan to go before cabinet

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A revised scheme to transform Hipperholme crossroads will go before council chiefs with the recommendations for a compulsory purchase order of land needed for the work to proceed.

An original plan drawn up by Calderdale Council in September 2013 was met with fierce opposition and was put on ice.

The council was unable to persuade land owners at the Whitehall Pub, Hipperholme Christ Church and Tesco to sell part of the land needed for the revamp.

However, Ian Gray, director of economy and environment, will put new proposals before Cabinet on Monday for it to approve the order.

In his proposals he said: “A Cabinet resolution is required in order for Calderdale Council to act as acquiring authority using CPO powers for the purchase of land integral to the Hipperholme crossroads improvement scheme.

“Without the necessary decision in place, the scheme cannot be implemented as the design requires this third party land.

“As a result of the concerns raised by the public, efforts were made to re-assess the design to identify whether any improvements could be made. Given the sensitivity of this junction in terms of traffic flows and congestion, the revised plan remains relatively similar to the original design as all other alternatives had a detrimental impact to traffic flows and congestion. The three pieces of land are still required.

“There are two options.

“Calderdale Council does nothing and stops all future design work associated with Hipperholme crossroads improvement scheme, returns the capital grant back to the Department of Transport and accepts the fact that this strategic junction will be subject to congestion, delays and air quality management issues.

“Or Calderdale Council acts as the acquiring authority and issue a CPO to the three separate land owners so that the design can be fully met and the benefits realised.”

The council successfully bid to the Department for Transport allowing work to improve the crossroads, which should result in reduced journey times to and from Halifax during morning and evening peak travel times.

Together with the Department for Transport’s local pinch point fund, £3.4million is being invested to reduce journey times between one and seven minutes on the surrounding roads that lead up to Hipperholme crossroads.

Should Cabinet approve the making of a compulsory purchase order there will be consultation and negotiation with the landowners.

All landowners will be notified about the order and the council will publish a statement of reasons explaining its justification for making the order. If objections are received from landowners a public inquiry will be arranged at which the merits of the case will be considered and a decision made by the Secretary of State on whether to confirm the order.

Bob Horne, chairman of the Hipperholme Preservation Society, said residents need to be aware that the scheme is being revised and should make their feelings known.

In a survey carried out by the society, 2,024 people were against the original scheme.

“Members of the society will be attending the meeting and asking questions. When we have asked at previous meetings about CPO we have been fobbed off.

“No-one has seen this scheme and there was supposed to be a consultation.”

Residents and businesses believe the new road system would sound the death knell for the village, driving away business and making life a misery.