‘People are angry about housing plans’ - Debate on Calderdale Local plan

Meeting organised by Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker to discuss the Calderdale Local Plan
Meeting organised by Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker to discuss the Calderdale Local Plan

It is absolutely vital that people are aware of these plans and have the opportunity to take part in the consultation to ensure that their views are taken into account.”

That is the message from Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker and ward councillors as they urge residents to have their say on Calderdale Council’s draft Local Plan.

Areas in Brighouse, Rastrick and Clifton have been earmarked as sites to build thousands of new homes, some on green belt land. Hundreds of people attended a meeting organised by Mr Whittaker on Monday, with another planned for tonight (Thursday).

Hundreds of residents attended the first meeting organised by Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker earlier this week to discuss the Local Plan being put forward by Calderdale Council and the impact it will have on towns and villages.

Mr Whittaker said that as part of this plan, the council wants the wider Brighouse area to accommodate more than 6,000 new houses – a scale of development that will see the area grow by more than 40 per cent.

The plans would deliver 2,000 new properties at Clifton; an additional 1,250 new houses at Woodhouse; and more than 2,500 extra units on land at Hove Edge, Brookfoot, Hipperholme, Lightcliffe, Carr Green, Field Lane and Badger Hill.

The first meeting was held this week at Brighouse Civic Hall. Mr Whittaker said: “There was a fantastic turnout at the meeting which really does go to show how strongly local residents feel about these plans.

“The issue which was raised time and time again was the lack of infrastructure to accompany the scale of the devolopment proposed within these plans. Residents don’t believe that the council are addressing the current issues which we have with our local infrastructure, and are not convinced that the infrastructure improvements listed as part of these plans are anywhere near enough to facilitate this sheer scale of development.”

Coun Scott Benton (Brighouse, Conservative) added: “Many local residents feel that some communities have been unfairly singled out and are accommodating far more than their fair share of development.

“Brighouse is a fraction of the size of Halifax and yet is due to receive more housing growth with 6,000 new properties earmarked for this area. People are angry about the plans and the disproportionate amount of devolopment that Brighouse is set to receive.”

Another meeting tonight (Thursday) at the Civic Hall at 7pm will focus on plans for Rastrick and Woodhouse.

The eight week consultation on the Draft Local Plan runs from now until Friday 29 September 2017.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, Councillor Daniel Sutherland said: “Eighteen months ago the Council set out all the areas that had been identified as possible development sites; having listened to local people, and also on technical assessments, over half have now been ruled out.

“However, there are still choices to be made and the Local Plan provides an opportunity to create a new, shared vision for Calderdale that will help us to balance sustainable housing and economic growth with our responsibility to protect our environment and our green spaces.

“We are looking to hear your voice now so we can create the best future for our area."

Once the consultation has finished the Draft Plan will then be reviewed in light of the results and a Final Draft agreed around Christmas time.

Comments on the draft plan can be submitted via the Council’s website www.calderdale.gov.uk/localplan and information will be available in libraries and Customer First offices.