New Hebden Bridge car park plan to go before planning councillors in New Year

A new council car park is set to be developed in Hebden Bridge, if planning councillors agree when they meet in the New Year.

Sunday, 20th December 2020, 10:00 am

Calderdale Council wants to develop the 61-space car park next to the Hebden Vale Centre at Bridge Lanes and planning officers recommend councillors approve the proposals when they come before the council’s Planning Committee, which will be held virtually from 2pm on Tuesday, January 5, which can be watched on the authority’s YouTube channel.

Public opinion is roughly evenly split in terms of representations with 13 letters of objection and ten letters of support received.

Objectors’ concerns access to the car park which they say would be by a narrow bridge, the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, the increase in congestion, and impact on air quality.

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A new car park could be built in Hebden Bridge

Supporters of the plans say Hebden Bridge needs more parking space as a tourist town and it would benefit businesses, help reduce traffic queues and be good for the economy.

Ward councillor Coun Dave Young (Lab, Calder) has written to the committee backing the proposals.

“There is a great need for public parking spaces at the west side of Hebden Bridge.

“The shopkeepers of Market Street would greatly appreciate this new car park as it would encourage more out-of-town shoppers to visit Market Street.

“In my opinion I do not think this area is suitable for housing due to it being on a flood plain, this area has flooded several times over the last 20 years and the Hebden Vale Centre was knocked down due to it being flooded several times,” he said.

However, Hebden Royd Town Council objects to the application on the grounds of green belt and road safety.

The site has most recently been used by the Environment Agency as a compound for flood alleviation scheme works.

The council says the car park will include a new step-free pedestrian access ramp to the Rochdale Canal towpath.

The council’s lead Planning Officer Richard Seaman considers the application should be referred to the Planning Committee for determination because of the significance, impact or sensitivity of the proposal.