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Walkleys Clogs New Planning Application

From Charles O

Friday, 28 May 2010

Well, Studio Baad has done it again.

Another hideous Frankenstein-like transplantation of what passes for modern architecture grafted onto a traditional building.

Have a look at the latest planning application for Walkley's Clogs.

As in the case of the ridiculous Garden Street development, the proposed building may be deemed "characterful" in a city centre or on a university campus, but in this part of the world it looks terrible!!!!

You will find it on the Calderdale Planning Applications web-site. It is Application No: 09/01411/FUL.

The views that I am talking about are to be found in the "Whole document" for the "SUPPLEMENTARY VISUALS & INFORMATION (MARCH 2008)" (the fourth from last in the long list) at page 6 of 18 (the whole document takes a while to download).

Interestingly I was told by someone who lives near the mill that there are none of the usual yellow signs up to tell people of the development. If this is true, can it be because Calderdale doesn't want anyone to know about it and therefore be able to object?

From Martin F

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Thanks Charles for making us aware of that.

If you go to the last download on the page where you find the download mentioned in the item from Charles, you will find something called "Pre-Decision Correspondence", please have a look at that.

The second page of it is the wording of the yellow sign referred to as being missing from the area around the mill. It is dated the 21st of this month and so the latest date for objections is the 11th of next month - not very long.

Interestingly part of that notice says:

"The proposed development does not accord with the provisions of the development plan in force in the area in which the land to which the application relates is situated and would affect a right of way to which Part III of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981(a) (public rights of way) applies."

In view of this could Planning Watch please put together a list of reasons for objection and circulate them - I'm not being lazy, I am just in the middle of exams that don't finish until 11 June.

In the meantime, I'm going to ask Calderdale why the yellow signs are not visible near the mill. I drove past there a couple of days ago and didn't see any. It rather worries me that a week has gone since the start of the "consultation" period and nobody knew anything about it. Is this what Baldrick from Blackadder would have called "a cunning plan" by Calderdale?

I think we should be told.

From Myra James

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Perhaps, as suggested in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the planning notice is to be found in the basement of the council offices behind the door marked "Beware of the leopard". Very worrying that this has stayed under wraps well into the "consultation" period. Something to look out for is any measures to deal with the awful junction at Carr Lane - a must for any development there.

From Martin F

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I have spoken to Calderdale Planning Department and have been told that apart from over a dozen individual letters to householders nearby, they arranged for three separate notices to be put up in the area of Walkley's and also notices to be placed in the HB Times and the Halifax Courier.

Therefore, it looks like they have done their job. If there aren't any signs to be seen, maybe they have been removed.

From Rev Tony Buglass

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Spotted one at the end of Carr Lane as I drove past yesterday. That is, I could see a big yellow thing with what looked like 'Planning Notice' on it, but I was too busy not driving into the scenery to read it…

From Myra James

Friday, 4 June 2010

On Tuesday evening there was to be seen at the end of Carr Lane a yellow board carrying the inscription "Planning application" but the notice itself was absent. I haven't had an opportunity to check the rear of the site for notices. It seems a pity that proposed development on a site that has aroused much controversy over the years has received only the statutory minimum publicity. Since it seems the notice was posted in the Hebden Bridge Times (I haven't check that myself), it is surprising the paper didn't see fit to make further enquiries and run a story on the proposals.

From Martin F

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Please don't forget that if you don't want Studio Baad to give birth to their Frankenstein creation objections have to be in to Calderdale by this Friday.

Yes, Myra, I wonder why, given the significance of Walkleys over the years, the HB Times did not write about it.

Was there a desire to keep it out of the limelight? If so, I wonder why???

From Jim S

I Like it.

I think its a shame it cant still be used for manufacturing, a missed opportunity for social housing, and would have hoped for a greener development that encourages more use of public transport.

However the building lays empty and needs major structural work, I think that in this climate it is fortunate that any developer wants to take this on at all. The development will restore and preserve the original mill building and offer a architecturally interesting addition where at the moment stands a cobbled together extension.

The development does provide some affordable housing and I think it will offer a much improved entrance to our town than what currently stands on the site.

I have read the reports and looked through the plans and I wish Studio Baad and the developer well with their proposal.

From Andrew H

Thursday, 10 June 2010

I'm with you Jim.

Doesn't Hebden Bridge pride itself on 500 years of creativity? It looks creative to me, so therefore carries on the town's traditions.

From Myra James

Thursday, 10 June 2010

I'm not averse to conversion of the mill to housing and have an open mind on the design of the extension but am disappointed that it's been left to HebWeb Planning Watch and Forum to bring the light of day to the proposals.

In the Planning Statement for the proposal and it would seem there is in fact no provision for affordable housing within this development. The developer makes the point that the nature of the proposed apartments is unsuitable for this purpose and instead makes provision for social housing within another proposed development, the one at Mayroyd. So it would seem that these two proposed developments are inter-dependent, which is possibly an interesting situation, but I welcome comments from anyone more knowlegeable than myself.

From Martin F

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Thanks Myra for reading the Planning Statement.

It would be interesting to know what the 'nature' of the proposed apartments is that prevents any units being for affordable housing.

A la Garden Street it probably means no more than that the developers want to get the maximum they can.

From Jim S

Thursday, 10 June 2010

I am by no means an expert but this is how I understand / view the situation.

Every development has to offer a percentage of affordable housing. The application implies that ideally the developer feels that the requirement for the type of social housing that the area lacks (family homes) would be more realistic on the Victoria Mill site and again I agree with this point.

If the mill is going to be developed into residential properties they would have to be flats which are not ideal as family homes, coupled with high maintenance charges make it unrealistic. It doesn't mean that the developer is dodging responsibility for affordable housing as the Victoria Mill site will have to provide enough affordable housing to cover the percentage requirement for the Walkleys Mill site in addition to its own.

This does mean that the application in its current state is reliant on the passing of both planning applications. However the council still don't have to accept both applications. If they decide to reject the Victoria Mill application then the developer will still have to provide the correct percentage of affordable housing within the Walkleys site. This may well mean they have to amend the plans to reduce the cost of the build.

We have to remember that in order for a developer to take on such a project there has to be a profit for them at the end of the day, which is fair enough, they outlay large sums of money and take risks. If we want the Walkleys mill to just provide social housing then it would either need a substantial injection of public money (pretty scarce at the moment) or a radically different plan that would substantially reduce the costs of the build, perhaps even demolishing the whole mill and erecting a new build which are typically much cheaper and refurbishments of this scale.

If I have misunderstood any of this I apologies, I am certainly no pro on such matters.

From Martin F

Friday, 11 June 2010

Thanks, Jim. Good point about how the developers would need public money to include social housing within the development.

If it is assumed that what you say is correct and that, without a subsidy, the developers could not use a small portion of the (probably) large profit on 90% of the units to subsidise the other 10% (social housing), how about the following scenario:

There can be no social housing in Walkley's because there is no public money provision for it. Instead, the social housing will be provided on the Mayroyd site.

The Mayroyd site, the yellow signs are up today, comprises 27 social housing units (all of them). How much public money has already been allocated to this project? Does anybody have any information? None, I suspect (money, that is).

If the developers (of Walkley's) do not need public money for the Mayroyd site, not just homes but roads, services etc. (rather expensive, I expect) why would they need it for, about five, social housing units within Walkley's?

What I rather suspect is that the linking of the proposed developments of Walkley's and the Mayroyd site is whitewash/a smokescreen/rubbish and the reference to social housing on Mayroyd is a "sweetener" to persuade the Council to pass the Walkley's development application.

Don't forget that the Mayroyd application is an outline application and, according to information that I have found, details can be changed later. What if those 27 social housing units, when a full application is submitted, metamorphose into 10 to 12 "executive" homes?

Flats not ideal for families?. No, but better than nothing.

From Nicola Jones

Friday, 11 June 2010

Okay - apologies for not intervening sooner.

The Civic Trust Committee met on Tuesday to discuss this. The consensus of the committee members present was that the overall idea of developing the mill has to be a positive - a redundant, slowly turning derelict building on the edge of the town is doing no-one any favours. However, we feel that this is a matter which requires further consideration and consultation with our members and the general populus of Hebden. That planning notices have been removed locally and this appears to be something of a stealth attack on their third application, we feel that this needs far more considered consultation.

However, there are also a number of serious concerns relating to the documentation submitted, given this is an application in full.

Most signficant of these are the comments relating to the provision of afforadable housing and the plans to address this.

For info the valid planning issues which affect a proposal are:

  • Environmental qualities of the surrounding area or the visual character of a tree (including scale, design and materials and landscaping of the site). We are currently unaware of the scale, design and materials to be used, based on the submitted documentation
  • The amenity and privacy of dwellings (this is stated in some detail).
  • The character of an area in other senses (in terms of noise or other forms of pollution). Read documentation relating to noise levels and in particular 3 story car stacker parking and gated community.
  • Road safety (key issue on this site)
  • Public services, such as drainage and water supply.
  • Public rights of way (this is stated as per earlier post as confirmed to contravene a current public right of way). If Victoria Mill/Mayroyd is also jointly developed. The entire length of the current footpath may be lost between the Station and Mytholmroyd.
  • Yhe need to safeguard valuable resources such as good farmland or mineral reserves (not necessarily a concern - however evidence of roosting bats in the mill is mentioned and requires furhter investigation).

Anyone seriously intersted in assisting in establishing appropriate comment on this issue - feel free to contact the Civic Trust and we will endeavour to keep you updated.

The application refers to a concurrent planning application. As comment is required by TOMORROW's deadline for Walkleys and Victoria Mill (aka Mayroyd) has only been posted today. As someone who is living in a neighbouring property, I am extremely concerned that we have not received any notification and I would therefore state that this is NOT a concurrent application.

The plans seem detailed, however, there is no mention of materials to be used and the details are extremely difficult to interpret from artist impression.

In addition, there are serious concerns the access and egress to the main road.

Can I urge anyone with ANY concerns to submit comment requiring greater detail and consultation, given the importance of this building to the town.

From Andrew Hall

Friday, 11 June 2010

The main concern for both these developments must be road issues. Trying to turn right from the road to the West of Walkleys onto the main road is already a nightmare with no visibility in the Mytholmroyd direction, and an increase in the usage of this road can only exacerbate the situation. Diverting Walkey's traffic along Caldene Avenue would cause problems in the centre of Mytholmroyd.

Mayroyd is even worse. The access road joins Station Road close to that road's junction with the A646. Anyone who's experienced the volume of traffic at peak hours at that spot knows how congested it already is. To turn right out of Station Road onto the A646 already relies on the goodwill of cars on the main road signalling you through - hardly a satisfactory arrangement. Can you imagine the problem for cars from the proposed Mayroyd estate trying to turn right onto Station Road, then immediately right again to try to get East?

The other thing is that many of our local bus services use the railway station. Any increase in traffic will play havoc with any attempt to run them to some form of timetable.

From Janice S

Saturday, 12 June 2010

I don't object to the mill being developed (although I don't like the design of the new "extension") but I think that Studio Baad have missed a great opportunity to build(!) on HB's Transition Town status - I couldn't see anything environmentally innovative in the plans. Perhaps I overlooked something.

Re: the Mayroyd development, it will be interesting to see how the construction vehicles will access the site. I can't see them getting over Crow Nest Bridge (the tiny bridge on Mayroyd Lane below the site) or under the railway underpass leading to Wood Top.

See also

Planning Watch

Previous coverage of Studio Baad on HebWeb