Inspector says no to green belt plans

DEVELOPERS wanting to build a retirement village on a derelict factory site on green belt land have had their plans knocked back again.

Calderdale Council rejected plans from Blackshaw Holdings to build a 60-bed retirement home and 104 apartments on Badger Lane, Hipperholme.

An appeal by the company against Calderdale’s decision has now been rejected by planning inspector J. P. Watson.

According to the planning inspector, measures were proposed to protect bats, newts and other wildlife but not the considerable tree cover.

“The existing industrial buildings are generally in poor repair and detract from the appearance of the site and it is expected that some improvement would flow from the appeal proposal.

“There are elements of sustainability in the proposal and the transport assessment supports the view that it would generate less traffic that its established use.”

But Mr Watson said it had not been shown that there would be any merit in locating jobs associated with the development to Hipperholme.

“The circumstances are not very special and so the development should not be approved because in terms of planning policy it is inappropriate in the green belt.”

The site chosen for the retirement village was the former Monoplas factory in Sunny Vale.

Blackshaw Holdings also wanted to provide a social centre, a bowling green and allotments.

But neighbours and the Sunny Vale Residents’ Association said they were concerned about the plan, particularly the traffic implications.

The Allen Works site has also been the subject of many fires being started in the damaged and disused buildings over the recent months.

Figures show the number of people in Calderdale aged between 65 to 74 will increase by 36 per cent between 2006 and 2016 and there will be an additional 1,600 people over the age of 75.

Brighouse, Rastrick and Hipperholme and Lightcliffe are have been singled out by the council for extra housing and employment.