A £9m plan to revive Todmorden to move forward

Plans to revive a derelict part of Todmorden with a £9m investment could take a step forward at a meeting next week.
Land at Rose Street, Todmorden. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald.Land at Rose Street, Todmorden. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald.
Land at Rose Street, Todmorden. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald.

Calderdale Council has been looking into options to breathe new life into the Rose Street area.

The site currently includes the vacant site of a demolished health centre, Pollination Street community garden, car parking spaces, and outdoor market stalls.

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The council and AHR Architects have now drawn up proposals to develop the land further, including a new town square and events space, 38 homes, a refreshed outdoor market, three retail units, and an aparthotel with 10 units and a restaurant.

The planting of new trees is also proposed.

Cabinet Members will be asked to approve the proposed outline scheme at a meeting on March 16.

Approval would pave the way for more detailed designs to be drawn up and consulted on, which would be presented to Cabinet in autumn 2020 subject to about £300,000 of Towns Fund money being available to finance the design work.

Coun Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for public services and communities, and chair of Todmorden Town Board, said: “This is a major opportunity, worth over £9m, to bring a central part of Todmorden back to life.

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“It would bring exciting new facilities and much-needed new housing for local people right in the heart of the town centre and add to the regeneration which is ongoing across Calderdale.”

Coun Press added that the plans have been very positively received by Todmorden Town Board and there are potential opportunities to work with the council’s recently established development company, Weave, and the Calder Valley Community Land Trust.

In a report submitted as part of the planning process, Mark Thompson, director of regeneration and strategy, said that funding sources for the scheme would need to be identified as part of the more detailed designs and preparation of the outline business case.

There is currently no provision within the council’s capital programme or available capital pooled resources to contribute to the scheme, he said.

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The Rose Street site has been in limbo since the building’s demolition eight years ago.

It closed when the new Todmorden health complex at Lower George Street opened a decade ago, having itself replaced the Abraham Ormerod Centre as the home of the town’s largest medical practice in the early-to-mid 1980s.

Since closure the site has been subject to several proposals which have included an attempt by Todmorden Town Council to have it declared an asset of public value, potential development as shop units and a second bid by McCarthy and Stone, specialists in developing retirement complexes, to build one in Todmorden having previously failing to gain permission to develop the Abraham Ormerod site.

The council said the latest proposals support the Vision2024 for Calderdale to be a place where people can live a larger life and where talent and enterprise can thrive.

The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday.

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Mr Thompson said in the report: “The site should act as a catalyst to support Todmorden’s continuing evolution to an attractive shopping and visitor destination, providing a new events space, overnight visitor accommodation, some modern retail units and a showcase for Incredible Edible (the town’s urban gardening project).”