Plans refused for a new taxi base near to the town centre

Councillors have rejected plans for a taxi firm base close to Brighouse town centre.

Proposals were put forward by Simon Cunnah, co owner of SP Private Hire based in Bailiff Bridge, to change the use from office and premises to a private hire booking office at the Annexe building on Martin Street, Brighouse.

Plans were brought to Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee where the scheme had received five letters of support and one letter of objection.

In the planning officer’s report, their recommendation was to refuse the application due to concerns from the council’s highways and housing and environment departments over noise and disturbance in the area.

The head of housing and environment - environmental protection sections said in the report: “I have serious concerns regarding the proposals within this application given the potential of disamenity, in particular noise disturbance, the development, would have upon the residential properties in the immediate vicinity.

“It is proposed that there will be two car parking spaces at the site and that remote parking for drivers will be located some distance from this development site in the Atlas Mill area. I do feel that this remote parking is too far of a distance to the offices and will not be used as the applicant proposes.”

The report also stated that the proposed operating hours Sunday to Thursday 5am to midnight and Friday and Saturday 5am until 1am, would be too excessive for a residential area and due to the close proximity of the Ritz Ballroom and weekend events there was the potential that customers could be queuing for taxis on the streets and further potential of noise disturbance.

At the committee Mr Cunnah said it was important for the firm to move forward so they could pick up more business from the town centre.

“We have a good relationship with our current residents. Our drivers are respectful and if there were any concerns we would act very swiftly to rectify the situation. Taxis would not be hanging around the base.

“We are very conscious to get on with residents and it is important to our business that if we have problems to sort them out as soon as we can.”

He also said there would be very few taxis at the base as many drivers will go straight to early morning jobs and many live locally so will take their lunch and comfort breaks at home.

Speaking at the committee, Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) was in support of the plans and said that if the firm was not allowed to move closer to the town centre, they fear they will go out of business.

“SP taxis is a respected firm in Brighouse.

“There are very few residents in Martin Street and if there were any concerns SP taxis would look to resolve these. They have a excellent reputation in the area and it is not in their plan to make life difficult for people.

“It would be a great shame that a well established and well respected business was to go down with the loss of jobs in the area.”

Councillor Martin Peel, on the committee, said he had sympathy for Mr Cunnah but the entrance to the road and close proximity to residents was a concern.

The committee agreed to refuse the plans.