The Report by Calderdale Council’s Head of Planning and Highways recommends refusal of the planning application 12/01003/FUL, Construction of retail store, five storey hotel and hydro electric power station on the former Mytholm Works site in Hebden Bridge.
The Report has been prepared for Councillors on the Planning Committee. This will consider the Mytholm Works planning application at the 4th December Planning Committee meeting, in Halifax Town Hall. The meeting starts at 6pm.
Reasons for recommending refusal
In brief, the Officer’s reasons for recommending refusal are that the application is contrary to planning guidelines that aim to protect:
- the vitality and viability of town centres
- biodiversity and the ecology of the aquatic environment
The Officer’s Report should be on the Calderdale Council website, but when I checked it hadn’t yet been uploaded. So the Planning department emailed me the Planning__Committee_Officer’s Report_-_4th_December_2012.
(If you download the Report, please note that 2.1 says that the enclosed report contains two sections: one a summarised list of all applications to be considered at the Planning Committee meeting; the second, individual detailed reports for the applications to be considered. But the report that Calderdale Planning department has emailed contains only the listing and detailed report for the Mytholm Works application. The others have been deleted.)
A direct copy-and-paste from the Officer’s Report follows:
“Reasons 1. The site is a substantial distance from the primary and secondary shopping frontage of Hebden Bridge and, given the scale of the proposals, it is considered that the development is likely to function as a freestanding retail destination, with limited linked trips to the town centre. Criterion Ai) of the Replacement Calderdale Unitary Development Plan Policy S2, Criteria for Assessing Retail Developments, requires that retail proposals relate to the role, scale and character of the centre and the catchment the development is proposed to serve, and criterion Biii) requires that there will be no serious effect (either on its own or cumulatively with other similar permissions) upon the vitality and viability of any nearby town centre as a whole. Whilst the proposal would deliver a supermarket that would improve choice, competition and the quality of the convenience retail offer of Hebden Bridge, insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrate that the application would have an acceptable impact on the vitality and viability of Hebden Bridge Town Centre. In the absence of sufficient information to demonstrate that it would have an acceptable impact, it is considered that the application is contrary to Replacement Calderdale Unitary Development Plan Policy S2 and guidance contained within Section 2, Ensuring the vitality of town centres, of the National Planning Policy Framework. 2.
Insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrate the impact of the development on biodiversity. In the absence of sufficient information the application is contrary to Replacement Calderdale Unitary Development Plan policies NE15 Development in Wildlife Corridors, NE16 Protection of Protected Species and guidance contained within Section 11 Conserving and enhancing the natural environment of the National Planning Policy Framework. Furthermore, insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrated that the hydropower element of the proposals would not be harmful to the ecology of the aquatic environment, and the application in this regard is therefore also contrary to Replacement Calderdale Unitary Development Plan policies NE18 Ecological Protection of Water Areas, and EP28 Development of Renewable Energy Sources, and guidance contained within Section 11 Conserving and enhancing the natural environment of the National Planning Policy Framework.”
The Officer’s Report reviews all aspects of the planning application.
I disagree with its assessment that the proposed micro-hydro power station complies with Policy EP 27 (Renewable Energy in New Developments). The developer’s proposal for the micro-hydro power station makes big claims for the scheme’s potential, but doesn’t provide facts that would support these claims.
4th December Planning committee meeting agenda
The agenda is now online, along with the planning applications list which contains the officer’s reports on the applications.