Monday, 7 January 2013
Calderdale competence challenged over Nutclough plans
The Head of Planning of Calderdale has been sent a formal letter of complaint concerning its handling of the application to build a large building next to Nutclough Mill which residents and opponents of the scheme fee is out of keeping with local architectural style, will undermine the Conservation Area of Hebden Bridge and will seriously affect the residents of the nearby area.
The HebWeb has a copy of this letter: "Turning to the new report, for the upcoming hearing on 8th January, we believe this report still contains a large number of flaws. Importantly, we still believe our residential amenity is at great risk of severe damage from the large building very close to our homes, and that visual impact has not been adequately assessed to allow the conservation officer to assert that there will be little or no detriment to our visual amenity. As a matter of fact we believe that objective assessment of the visual impact would demonstrate a highly detrimental effect on visual amenity. There remain also questions regarding our aural amenity (noise)."
The complaint asks the council to cover costs already incurred in seeking legal advice which led to the withdrawal of the Planning Officer's Report last November.
Then the Planning and Conservation Officers 'forgot' that Nutclough Terrace was a listed building. The letter also asks for the application to be withdrawn again from the committee hearing on 8th January because of the "omissions, inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the planning officer's new report to the Planning Committee".
The letter warns that residents would potentially be able to make considerable claims for compensation if their rights are not respected. It adds "we believe the council is not permitted to risk public money for compensation claims by not ensuring that due assessment of the impact of proposed developments is carried out".
The meeting promises to be a stormy one with those opposed to the development pointing out many shortcomings in the revised report. We understand Hebden Royd Council will also speak against the current plan. It remains to be seen what Janet Battye will say but she has previously gone on record as supporting the existing plan rather than asking for sensible revisions.
The objectors do not object to an appropriately designed lower building which would equally serve the interests of Calrec and their employees.