Go-ahead for homes plan

CALDERDALE councillors have given the go-ahead for 30 houses to be built at St Giles Road, Lightcliffe.

The unanimous decision was taken by councillors at Calderdale Council’s planning committee on Tuesday despite the officers’ recommendation to refuse the outline application submitted by businessman Steve Rand because it was on green belt land.

The site, owned by three separate people, is currently being used to store stone and as a bus repair centre.

Councillor Stephen Baines said it was quite an unsightly area.

“It looks more like a brown field site than green belt. Would this be classed as possible special circumstances for development rather than leaving it as green belt? It cannot in any way be classed as that.”

Former ward councillor Chris O’Connor spoke on behalf of the objectors. He felt it would only make a bad situation worse.

“A couple of years ago I would have supported this application but these houses will only hinder the infrastructure,” he said. “Only across the road Crosslee has permission to build more than 160 houses. We are looking at 190 houses altogether.”

Highways officers said they couldn’t see a problem with the application.

The number of pedestrians would increase which is why they had asked for improvements to be made to the pavement nearby.

Councillor Graham Hall (Con, Hipperholme/Lightcliffe) spoke in favour of the application. He said it would help to tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour and would get rid of what has become an eye sore.

The meeting was told that there were 61 letters in support of the scheme and only four against it.

Councillor Baines said: “There are a lot of people in support of it. I feel the way forward is to give the go-ahead subject to approval by the secretary of state.”

Because the land is in a green belt area the application will have to go before the Secretary of State for a final decision when his department will consider the special circumstances put forward by the councillors to permit.

Applicant Steve Rand, owner of Rand & Asquith, said he was pleased with the decision.

“We had outgrown the land’s use and had moved to a place that has left us causing less of a nuisance to the local community.

“It’s a very common sense decision and we hope that when it goes before the Secretary of State he sides with the feelings of the local people.”

The application is subject to approval by the Secretary of State and a number of conditions.