The saga over a controversial extension to a restaurant and hotel in Brighouse could be at an end after new plans were given the approval by the planning committee at Calderdale Council.
It appeared that a dispute at Casa Hotel and Restaurant would come to an end until proposals to downsize the development were turned down by the council’s planning committee – despite officers’ recommendations they should be given the green light.
However, the new plans were given the approval by the planning committee today (Tuesday) and the final decision will go to the secretary of the state due to the development being build on green belt.
The new proposals will see the white building painted in a stone colour intended to be more in line with neighbouring buildings, the height of the tallest parts reduced and a landscape area being created on the older parts of the building.
Marilyn Brichard, the agent for the applicant Reward Finance Group said the changes mark a step forward and how the premises will be run in the future.
She also said the new scheme is an ‘opportunity to reward the business, safeguard jobs and create new ones.
Planning officers speaking at the committee meeting said there is potential to create 110 jobs both full and part time.
A report by officers that was considered by planning members said although it was an “inappropriate development in the green belt” there were “very special circumstances” to grant permission. It said the recommendation to approve was in accordance with national and local authority planning policy and certain criteria needed to be met.
Committee member councillor Steve Sweeney (Labour, Todmorden) said he has objected to many previous plans regarding the venue but with the new plans and changes that have been made he felt the committee was in a better position to support the application.
Coun Faisal Shoukat (Labour, Park) was also in agreement that it was an opportunity for the local authority to start a new relationship with the organisation that has submitted the plans and which will be taking the business forward.
Chair of the committee David Kirton (Conservative, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said the whole situation has not done Brighouse any good and believed it has had an effect economically and he was happy to support the application.
The councillors on the planning committee had previously rejected the plans in May this year.
In September 2015 the venue was ordered by the Planning Inspectorate to take down its three-storey extension after losing an appeal against the council.
However, Castelite Limited, Casa’s parent company, took the ruling to the High Court and was successful in getting the verdict reviewed.