‘We want our open spaces’

OVERDEVELOPMENT, the impact on green spaces and traffic congestion were some of the key threats Brighouse residents fear will happen as a result of the plans for the future of Calderdale.

A community workshop was conducted in Brighouse as part of ten creative consultations organised by Calderdale Council as part of gathering information to go towards shaping the Local Development Framework.

They were designed to explore the needs, aspirations and concerns of residents in relation to planning.

The workshop was framed within a quality of life paradigm to encourage participants to reflect not just on planning issues but also on the real impacts of these issues on their lives and communities.

The most significant perceived threat in Brighouse is overdevelopment and the impact this will have on already overstretched facilities, traffic congestion and the countryside.

One resident said: “It’s about time the area started looking elsewhere to build. They’ve got plenty of outer areas. They may be higher but that’s their problem, not ours. We are at a standstill traffic wise, school-wise, doctors-wise, everything. Everything’s full up and what bit of green there is we want for our children and their children. We don’t want any more houses over here plus the roads can’t take any more traffic round here.”

Another said: “I think they (planning officers) see Brighouse as something of an easy picking space wise and save the nice countryside bits further down the valley. We want our individual communities. We want our bit of green.”

The workshop report said residents want to feel proud of Brighouse. They want it to thrive, be filled with interesting shops and attract shoppers. They want the town to be clean and well maintained.

Residents also want better provision for young families and children through increased and improved recreational facilities - especially in Rastrick.

Traffic is perhaps the biggest source of stress for residents. They desperately want comprehensive measures to be taken to reduce the volume and improve the flow of traffic through the town - for reasons of health, safety and quality of life.

A Preferred Options consultation is set to be released which focuses on the options that have been discussed through earlier consultations on the Core Strategy and declares which approach the council prefers.

It will give reasoning for why options are excluded and make it clear why the council is supporting certain preferred options.