‘Community for pensioners is in a ridiculous place’

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COUNCILLORS ARE being advised to permit a controversial retirement community in a village despite scores of objections.

Blackshaw Holdings wants outline permission for the development which comprises 74 apartments, a 40-bed care home, community centre, bowling green and allotments on land at Allen Works, Badger Lane, Hipperholme, near Halifax.

The development would create 50 to 60 jobs, according to a report for councillors. Calderdale Council has received 32 letters of objection to the scheme on the former brickworks which contains derelict buildings.

Critics fear the development would create traffic problems and claim there would not be effective access for emergency service vehicles.

They say there is a lack of public transport. There are concerns about “the creation of a small village in the valley” and claims that the scheme “would not be in keeping with the rural nature of the valley”.

Objectors have also raised issues about the effect of the development on wildlife including bats, badgers and birds.

Coun David Kirton, who represents Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, said: “I think it is a ridiculous position for a nursing home. It is very isolated and well off the beaten track. I am sure it will make elderly people feel very isolated.

“It would be in a very pleasant setting but my experience of people in nursing homes is they like to see people around them, passing by the window, which just will not happen there.

“Another concern I have is that the A58, the main Halifax road, would be the nearest bus stop. It is nearly a one mile walk down isolated dark lanes to get to the nursing home. From the bus stop to the nursing home and back is a very steep climb and there are absolutely no facilities there.”

Coun Kirton says the route would be a long walk for both elderly residents and their visitors.

He added: “Clearly the site has been derelict for some time and I would like to see something done with it but this is the wrong development in the wrong place for a nursing home.”

However, members of Calderdale Council’s planning committee will be advised to permit the development when they meet tomorrow.

An officer’s report for councillors says “the intention is that the development will create its own community and facilities will be provided on-site for the use of residents”.

The facilities would include a shop, restaurant, gym and swimming pool.

A minibus would be provided for residents and the proposal would not result in residents being isolated from facilities, according to the report.

The Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) would include two independent
living apartment buildings and three assisted living apartment buildings along with a social
centre and recreational land

The report says: “The proposal is less condensed than the existing buildings, which means they are spread more widely across the site, but the result is that there are views through the buildings which can make the built form seem less dominating particularly with the indicative landscaping that would introduce more green spaces, which could be secured when reserved matters are submitted.”