Column: Calderdale council’s local plan proposals.

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During the election period, the one issue which came up time and time again on the doorstep with local people was the Local Development Plan and the 4,000 new houses the council have earmarked for the Brighouse area which includes the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe Ward.

Local people remain very concerned about the unfair allocation of housing across Calderdale with the Brighouse & Hipperholme area receiving far more than its fair share of new housing. Despite having spent over £10 million pounds over a period of seven years, the council have failed to provide basic details as to how the road network in the wider Brighouse area will be upgraded to cope with so many new houses.

When the draft plan was released last summer we expressed serious concerns that it was not fit for purpose on account of the unfair nature of the plan and the lack of detail in relation to basic infrastructure improvements. The vast majority of the 10 000 comments which the Council received were not supportive of the plans but in spite of this, we have not seen any change in direction from the Council. The Labour administration running the Council are preparing a revised draft of the plan which will be released in a few weeks’ time before being voted upon by all Councillors at the end of June.

I will only support the Plan if it is fair to the residents of the wider Brighouse area and my constituents in the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward and if it includes the schools, health facilities and road improvements to accommodate

this growth.

Crow Nest Quarry Proposals

I and my colleague Councillor Robinson have received many e-mails and calls from local residents regarding Marshals Mono Ltd who proposed to commence Quarrying at Crow Nest off St Giles Road, as reported in last week’s Echo the council’s planning department could only consider a new set of conditions as the planning approval which was granted in the 1958 still applies which is just ridiculous now in 2018. When the planning committee visited the site, which was a beautiful spring morning birds were nesting in the trees and the floor of the wooded area was covered in blue bells, some members of the planning committee were shocked at what would happen to this beautiful area and the loss of over 1000 trees.

The agent speaking on behalf of Marshals Mono at the planning committee stated that the trees on the site were planted to screen the old quarry which has since been filled in and landscaped, I personally dispute this as you do not plant 1000 trees to screen something off, I would suspect that the trees were planted in the 1950/60 using some form of grant funding at that time.

I and many residents think it’s absolutely shocking and up setting that Marshals Mono is planning to fell over 1000 trees when the area suffers serious air pollution issues in Hipperholme and Brighouse, it just beggars believe.

Bailiff Bridge Memorial Park

Two weeks ago myself and councillor Robinson assisted Malcolm Silkstone chairman of the residents association and volunteers from the local community to clean and spruce up the park in preparation of an inspection for this year’s Green Flag award, weeds were removed from paved areas and flower beds, planted containers were wood stained and ornate lamp posts were re painted the whole area looked fantastic, the judging took place last Wednesday so fingers crossed, I would like to personally thank Malcolm, the volunteers from the community for a job well done and also the Councils Safer Cleaner Green team who have also done a great job as always.