Garden Street planning appeal:
Update: Thursday, 28 May 2009
The Inspector has turned down the application in record time because ... it's too large!
"... Block A would rise above and visually dominate its neighbour. As such it would be an unacceptably intrusive feature within the street scene"; and "... arising from their overall size and scale, Blocks D and E would be at odds with this pleasing scale and massing; they would visually dominate and be unacceptably harmful to the character and ambience of the locale."
But the Inspector did not reject the scheme either on parking or local amenity grounds.
Anthony Rae said: "It's the decision we expected, because in truth the developers did not put up a good case at the Inquiry. This must now be the end of a damaging episode in the history of the town, which came out simply because a couple of individuals made almost every conceivable mistake when hatching the earliest stages of this ill-thought out scheme. Fortunately for Hebden Bridge, when their proposals were finally put before, first the independent tribunal of the Planning Committee, and now an independent Inspector, they were found wanting, and so a great risk to the town has been averted.
Calderdale Council must now withdraw this development opportunity on their own site, and cancel the legal agreement they signed with the developer. Until they do this, dangers will still remain. As we've said before: they got us into this mess, now they must get us out of it with one final, decisive, action."
"We can thank all the members of the Garden Street Action Group, and our many supporters, for having contributed to this successful outcome."
Download planning tribunal decision letter
No to Garden Street website
Update: Thursday, 14 May 2009
The inquiry ended with the closing submissions on Friday 8th May. Both the closing and opening statements may be seen in full on the Action Group website.
The Closing included the findings of an Action Group inspection of a building in Barnsley which the developers had finally revealed would have an external cladding system similar to the one they were proposing. The closing submission from the Council's barrister Michael Bedford was excellent; that from the developers' less so, reflecting the weakness of the case she was having to summarise.
Action Group member Anthony Rae reports, "I think it has gone well for the objectors. I don't want to make any predictions but my judgment is that the balance of evidence was in our favour, and obviously we were really helped by Calderdale Council putting up a strong case against, expertly presented. The developers' witnesses were less convincing, and throughout the Inquiry they were constantly having submit revised plans as flaws were identified. The Action Group was congratulated by the Inspector for the quality of our evidence."
The decision is likely to be 2-3 months away
The Day trip to Barnsley revealed unacceptable exterior. At long last, under cross examination, the architects revealed that the 'cladding system' they were proposing might be similar to the one on the new Digital Media Centre in Barnsley. So immediately Anthony Rae jumped on a train to see what that looked like. He found that it's a totally unsuitable material that looks artificial whether it's made of a stone veneer or not;" it will stick out completely within the natural stone construction of the rest of the town; and like all 'cladding systems' will probably suffer structural and maintenance problems. It's completely unacceptable for the Hebden Bridge Conservation Area, and that's what we said to the Inspector!"
Update: Monday, 4 May 2009
All of the evidence has been heard and cross-examined in the three and a half days to Friday lunchtime (it's over-running a bit because of the thoroughness of the process); the site visit will now be next Thursday and 'Final Submissions' - when each of the parties including the Action Group get to make their concluding statements - at the Kings Centre Friday 10am. Lots of members of the public made personal statements of objection on Thursday afternoon, including 3 Calderdale councillors, and just one supporter. Anthony Rae for the Action Group said: "So far I think the arguments made by the Council and ourselves have been effective. We'll give a fuller account after the Inquiry closes".
Thanks to the Action Group website for the above
Update: 15th April 2009
Garden Street planning appeal
Garden Street Public Inquiry starts Tuesday 28th April: read the evidence submitted by the developer, the Council (now objecting) and the Action Group on the No to Garden Street website. If you want to attend the Inquiry or prepare and submit a personal statement, download the Action Group's advice note here.
Garden Street planning appeal: how to make your views known the Planning Inspectorate
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
The development proposals for the Garden Street/Tanpits site in Hebden Bridge were refused planning permission by Calderdale Council in September 2008, and the full story is outlined in the Hebweb Feature on Garden Street with links to all our news coverage.
Now the developer has appealed against that decision and the matter will be considered by a public inquiry in a few months.
You can indicate your continued objection by giving the Planning Inspectorate your views – they do count! Just complete this form - prepared by the Garden Street Action Group. You can indicate which grounds for objection you want to support, and then add your own views if you wish.
Alternatively, you can print out this page, complete it and send it directly to
The Planning Inspectorate
All responses must be by Wednesday, 28th January.
Online form to appeal
Printed form to appeal