Victorial Road former swimming pool site
- questions and developments

Culvert Update: Friday, 12 January 2007

Yorkshire Water have confirmed that they have a main drain (that apparently comes down from Windsor Road/View) which connects into the culvert under the site. Therefore it can't be blocked. So, the plan is to move the course of the culvert and keep the site of the flats the same (i.e. move the problem). Sounds expensive! It's not clear at this stage whether further plans will need to be submitted for public discussion.

Update Saturday, 18 November 2006

At the end of October, local residents made representations to the Charities Commission about some of the questions outlined below. The Hebden Bridge Web has now been informed of their response, received yesterday. We now know for certain that the Trustees of the Hebden Royd Pool Association sold the land to Richardson Developments who are building houses on the site.

The land was sold for £885,000 which, according to the Charity Commission, is either going towards a swimming pool on land "provided for free" by the Mytholmroyd Community Association, or the funds will be transferred to the Mytholmroyd Community Association restricting their use to building a swimming pool.  "The receiving charity would need to be made aware of the restrictions." 

At the moment, the funds are still held by the trustees, but the money must be used to "to build a swimming pool for the people Hebden Bridge and District".

Apart from the £885,000, no mention is made of all the money raised by local people. The Charities Commission website show that accounts for the Association are considerably overdue. The Commission have said about this: "The trustees have been reminded of their responsibilities and of the legal requirement to prepare and submit accounts and returns to the Commission within 10 months from the charity’s financial year end".

The trustees have confirmed that the current correspondent for the Pool Association charity is Mr Harold Ryder c/o Mrs Dorothy Sutcliffe, Badger Lane, Blackshaw Head, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7JJ

The Charities Commission response raises further questions

  • When will the Pool Association accounts be updated?
  • Why does the Charities Commission not intercede when accounts are so overdue?
  • Why was there not any consultation with the many local people who helped raise money for the pool before deciding to give the money to Mytholmroyd Community Centre?
  • Are there any plans or feasibility study for the pool on the Community Centre site?
  • Parking in Mytholmroyd is already difficult - see discussion. Won't the lost of parking at the Community Centre make matters even worse?

See also other pages

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Thanks to the many people who have contacted the Hebden Bridge Web adding info, and expressing concern.

It now appears that the trustees of Hebden Royd Leisure Pool Association include Eileen Carr of Dewsbury, Harold Ryder of Colne, Dorothy Sutcliffe of Blackshawhead and Eileen Barnes of Heptonstall, the same ones who owned the land when the application for planning was made.

Hebden Royd Council inform us they have been repaid the £6000 they gave the association as a grant 15 or so years ago - but without interest!

We will continue to seek answers to the unanswered questions.

Monday, 30th October 2006

(This page will be updated as and when we receive answers to the questions outlined below)

The discovery of the culvert on the former swimming pool site has led to some serious questioning of the development which is currently taking place on the land. The land is the former Windsor Works between Spring Grove and Victoria Road, Hebden Bridge, land on which it had been hoped that a swimming pool would be built.

While Calderdale Council officials are investigating the site and the the Environment Agency taking an interest, Spring Grove residents, and others living nearby, are asking a series of questions.

  1. The culvert appears to be just where the foundations of the new properties were going to be lain. Was the culvert's exact position and flow not identified in any survey during the planning process?
  2. Is the water in the culvert, the run off from the hillside which flows through the millpond? If so where does it go across Spring Grove and should this be a concern?
  3. Can the current development still go ahead without posing structural risk to properties being built?
  4. How did this community owned land pass into private ownership?
  5. The land was obtained 20 years or so ago by the Swimming Pool Committee (or Hebden Royd Leisure Pool Association), with the intention of providing Hebden Bridge with a much needed pool. Many local people gave money and time to this project. What has happened to their money?
  6. Why have no accounts been returned to the Charity Commission for the past 6-7 years? Have they ever?
  7. On this page, the Charity Commission lists Mrs Dorothy Sutcliffe of Blackshaw Head as the contact for "The Hebden Royd and District Swimming Pool Association". Is this the same Dorothy Sutcliffe who is now listed as one of the 4 owners of the land? And the same Dorothy Sutcliffe who is described as a trustee of the Pool Association in the minutes of Mytholmroyd Community Association?
  8. Who are/were the trustees?
  9. Was it really necessary to remove the stump of the old mill chimney?
Old mill chimney stump:
pass mouse over image to see it change

Mill chimney

If anyone connected to the charity is reading this perhaps they could help answer some of these questions, let people know the names of the trustees and possibly make available the minutes of meetings where all the accounts were presented and the decisions taken.

The developers are planning two blocks of ten flats each, three storeys high with 30 parking places.

Planning permission was granted for a swimming pool and cafe on this site in 1992, and in 1999 permission was also granted for a straw bale sauna, office and garden. Neither of these approvals were implemented and both have now expired. The most recent proposal received planning perm ission from Calderdale on 17th March this year.

As recently as June 2000, the Hebden Bridge Web reported that "there will be a meeting of Hebden Royd Leisure Pool Association at the White Lion Hotel on Wednesday 21 June for any interested parties to attend. It is important that the land on Victoria Road is used for the use of the community and it is only by community involvement that the people of Hebden Bridge and the surrounding areas have their say."


The land is now owned by Eileen Carr of Dewsbury, Harold Ryder of Colne, Dorothy Sutcliffe of Blackshawhead and Eileen Barnes of Heptonstall. It is being developed by Richardson Projects Ltd of Rochdale. The agents are Residential Design of Middlewich, Cheshire.


Local objectors to the development made the following points:

  • Would result in a significant increase in traffic in the area, increasing congestion and reducing highway safety
  • Overbearing impact from height of development
  • Impact on privacy of houses on Spring Grove
  • Not an eco-friendly development
  • Lack of provision of affordable housing
  • Developers have not consulted local people
  • Access is unsuitable
  • Hebden Bridge does not need more of this type of housing
  • Excessive number of parking spaces

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