Casa faces an uncertain future

Work on the new extention at Casa, Brighouse.
Work on the new extention at Casa, Brighouse.

The Casa Hotel and Restaurant in Brighouse faces an uncertain future following Calderdale Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the new development.

In addition to a proposed extension to function facilities as well as landscaping and reprofiling of land to the rear of the building, part of the application also sought consent to provide office space and facilities for small local businesses within the extension.

A letter of objection submitted in response to the latest application raised concerns about the size of the extension, believed to be greater than originally approved, as well the development’s impact on the openness of Green Belt land.

Speaking at the meeting on behalf of the business, planning consultant Roger Lee highlighted the benefits of the venue to the local area, describing Casa as one of the most popular wedding venues in Calderdale.

He added that the development would bring a significant level of employment to the area.

Mr Lee added that the economic benefits of approving the application would significantly outweigh the threat to Green Belt land.

Martin Peelalso spoke in support of the decision and echoed Mr Lee’s views that the approval of the application would bring significant benefits to the local economy, calling the suggested refusal of the proposals “ridiculous”.

Chairing the meeting, Coun Daniel Sutherland desribed the plans as “clearly innapropriate” and “harmful to the Green Belt”, while Coun John Hardy voiced concern that refusal of the proposal would put a number of jobs in jeopardy.

It is the latest in a series of planning rows involving Casa.

In 2013, owner Jack McDaid was fined £15,000 by Calderdale Magistrates Court for failing to remove a marquee in his grounds used for functions.

Mr McDaid was issued with an enforcement notice in January 2008 banning him from putting up the marquee and after an appeal was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate in 2009, he was given 12 months to take down the marquee.

Prior to Monday’s meeting, Coun Howard Blagbrough, commented: “My concern and frustration relates to the developer.

“Whilst I would be the first person to welcome investment and empolyment opportunities to the area, I cannot support any such development where the developer has clearly chosen to continue with the many schemes without the appropriate consent and has continued to operate knowing that they are in breach of various planning regulations, the marquee being just one of these issues.”

Casa currently employs 47 people, but Sam Holmes, Group Manager of Casa, said that if the expansion of the business could be secured, this number could rise to 80.

Casa has already lodged an appeal against an enforcement notice issued by Calderdale Council, which requires removal of the newly-constructed building.