Fears for Haworth traders over plan for sewer works

The main street in Haworth
The main street in Haworth
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THE organiser of a popular festive celebration has cancelled the event amid safety concerns over proposed work on sewers beneath Haworth’s historic Main Street.

Hundreds of people from across the UK were due to flock to the Bronte village over the weekend of December 6 and 7 for the Victorian Christmas Market.

Bands, street entertainment and a diverse range of market stalls had all been planned to entertain the crowds.

But contractors need to move onto the street from December 1 to carry out essential engineering works - and the organiser has decided to cancel after taking council advice.

Despite the disappointment, organisers have praised Bradford Council for the way the issue has been handled.

Andrew Vaux, director of ARVA PR & Events, who organised the Victorian Christmas Market, said: “Whilst it’s obviously extremely disappointing to have had to cancel the event at the eleventh hour, I cannot fault Bradford Council officers for the professional and helpful way in which they dealt with the matter.

“As soon as there was any hint at all that our event might be in jeopardy, I was called into a meeting with officers who were completely honest and open and presented us with all the facts.”

He added: “The way I’m looking at it now is that it gives us a lot more time to thoroughly plan and deliver next year’s event and make it bigger and better than ever.

“Once Christmas is out of the way I’ll pull a core planning team together in January to start organising for 2015.”

Mike Powell, Bradford Council’s emergency planning officer, said: “It’s regretful that the event has had to be cancelled, but safety of the public is paramount and the road work has to be done. Council officers will work with the organiser when he submits the new date for his event.”

Darren Badrock, Bradford Council’s principal highway engineer, said that the highway surface - which is made up of stone setts - would be restored to its original condition once the work is completed.

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said the engineering work related to waste pipes which had been incorrectly connected during the development of a private housing scheme.

A date for the work has been agreed with the council, the company said. Work is expected to start on December 1 and finish on the 13th.

He said the work could, if necessary, be halted on December 5, which would allow the Christmas Market to go ahead, before resuming on December 8.

However, Mr Vaux said he had been advised by Bradford Council to cancel the event because of health and safety concerns.

Councillors said they hoped the work would not cause too much disruption to businesses.

John Huxley, chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, said he had been assured by Bradford Council that the setts will be put back by a skilled contractor.

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen said the timing of the work was bad news for traders.