Calderdale Local Plan – Over 6,000 new houses planned for Brighouse area

After 5 years, the Labour Council has finally released the Local Plan for Calderdale. The Plan proposes that over half of the 15,500 new houses be built in Brighouse, Rastrick and Elland. Thousands are earmarked to be developed on local Green Belt, in particular, Clifton and Woodhouse. This is despite widespread local concerns over infrastructure and environmental strains, including the existing lack of transport provision, school and GP capacity as well as road congestion to name just a few.

Of even greater concern is that the consultation period is due to commence for 6 weeks from mid-July during school holidays when residents are likely to be away on their annual holidays or busy looking after children.

‘Having spoken to local Brighouse residents about the Local Plan, they echo our concerns as local councillors about our green spaces throughout the Calderdale community. The Plan also places pressures on our existing infrastructure. It is therefore imperative that we protect our Green Belt and green spaces in our local community and discussions need to be had about essential infrastructure to cope with the additional number of houses prior to development.’ said Cllr Howard Blagbrough, Councillor for Brighouse.

‘I am very concerned about the Local Plan that has been put forward by the Labour Cabinet. An astonishing 6,069 additional houses have been proposed for the Brighouse area, including 1,800 for Woodhouse alone. The proposed figures have been disproportionately allocated throughout Calderdale, with Brighouse, Rastrick & Elland copping for more than their fair share. Virtually no consideration has been given to the extent of infrastructural growth needed to accommodate the high numbers of additional houses before they are built.’ said Cllr Sophie Whittaker, Councillor for Rastrick.

‘I am incredibly disappointed to learn that the Labour controlled Council have failed to address the key issues facing the area while implementing a Local Plan. These key issues include, the fairness of house allocation for each ward, infrastructural considerations, and the impact these developments will undoubtedly have on our environment. Whilst I see the need for additional affordable housing, there is currently no indication as to whether these developments are going to, indeed, be affordable. The intended Plan sees housing development very heavily dispersed in the Lower Valley (Brighouse, Rastrick & Elland) with very little strategy for infrastructural growth prior to building these new houses. The use of Green Belt land to build on also concerns me as this would have its own set of negative effects on the environment and infrastructure alike.’ stated Craig Whittaker MP for Calder Valley.

Conservative Brighouse and Rastrick Councillors are currently in the process of setting up Public Meetings to discuss the Local Plan and take feedback from residents. These will be advertised shortly.

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