Village fury over hospital homes plan

VILLAGERS in Shelf are fighting to keep a piece of greenery after a rejected bid for housing was taken to appeal.

St Vincent's Housing Association is contesting Calderdale Council's ruling against its plan to build ten bungalows in the gardens of the former Shelf Hospital.

Residents are now gearing up for another battle to save the patch of countryside, off Green Lane.

They claim more homes in the village would lead to traffic congestion, particularly around Brow Lane and the nearby St Michael's Primary School.

They are also worried trees and wildlife in the grounds of the old sanatorium would be destroyed.

Campaigners are now handing out leaflets around the village to rally support.

Shelf councillor Stephen Baines (Con) said he backed their fight.

"There is total over-development in Shelf and I really question why ten houses are needed for older people - it's nearly a mile's walk into Shelf from Green Lane, and Brow Lane is already conjested. It's greenfield land and it needs to be protected."

One of the justifications for the proposed build is that there is a lack of low income housing in the area, supported by surveys that show almost 2,000 people on the council's waiting list have identified Shelf as a preferred living area.

But resident Margaret Suddards said local people did not want more building.

"Everyone is shocked that this could even be thought of," she said.

The proposed bungalows would be sited in the gardens of Green Lane Hall, built in the 1800s.

It became a hospital in 1914 but closed more than 20 years ago.

St Vincent's, of Manchester, lets and sells affordable housing to customers across the North West. It was unavailable for comment last night.