Shops derelict for a decade to be given makeover

PLANS are being drawn up to transform a block of vacant shops that have been left in an unsightly state for more than ten years.

Residents have been campaigning to restore the shops on the Stoney Lane estate, which are all unoccupied bar one which is currently being used as a convenience store.

The vacant properties which have apartments on the second floor have been left to decay over the past 11 years and are now blighted by anti-social behaviour.

But Pennine Housing which is responsible for the buildings says it is not cost effective to reinstate them.

Lily Williams, who is a member of the Stoney Lane Residents’ Association, said: “We asked for the flats and the shops to be done up again but Pennine has said it’s not cost effective.

“So we have agreed for Calderdale Council and Pennine to draw up some plans to possibly build houses and bungalows on the land.

“We are not happy with that because we wanted to keep the shops. If they take them all away the nearest will be at Bailiff Bridge or the Smith House area. But what happens if we get another winter like last year, how are pensioners going to get there?”

But residents have agreed to look at plans once they are drawn up in January before making a decision.

Councillor Graham Hall who arranged the meeting between Pennine Housing, Calderdale Council and the residents association, said the residents were very keen to keep the general store whether it was that particular one that was there already or a new shop.

“Pennine, however are keen to develop the site but the residents have said that they would like to keep a bit of green belt in the estate,” he said. “Pennine has listened to what the residents want and have said they will see if there is anything they can bring back to the next meeting. One suggestion by the residents was to demolish the redundant shops and keep the current one. But it has to be financially viable, meet planning regulations and is acceptable by all parties involved. We do need to find the best solution.”