Charity applies to build affordable homes in Hebden Bridge for priced-out young people

A charitable housing trust is making a second bid to build 20 affordable homes for rent on land near Hebden Bridge town centre.

Calder Valley Community Land Trust wants to build the homes, which it says are much needed in the town, on land between Heptonstall Road and Bridge Lanes.

Richard Henderson has made the application to Calderdale Council on behalf of the trust.

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In the past the site, on the descent into Hebden Bridge centre from the Todmorden direction, historically had homes known as High Street which were demolished around 60 years ago.

Hebden Bridge town centreHebden Bridge town centre
Hebden Bridge town centre

Then, there were more than 70 homes on the site, built in the over- and under-dwelling style similar to other properties which are still popular homes in the town.

The trust was refused planning permission to build the same number of homes at the site three years ago, Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee narrowly going against planning officers’ recommendation to approve the proposals.

They cited air quality and heritage issues as outweighing the need for new and especially affordable homes in the town.

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This time around the trust has commissioned data to boost its case and designed a new scheme which they argue addresses concerns posed in 2019.

In a supporting statement prepared by Bauman Lyons Architects, the trust argues: “The proposals are to provide high quality housing for affordable rent, addressing a significant disparity between earnings for young people (in the 18 to 35 years age bracket) and cost of housing in Hebden Bridge, where young people and young families cannot afford to remain in Hebden Bridge to live and work.”

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The statement says the need for affordable homes in the upper Calder Valley has zoned Calder ward as “red” – indicating the highest need for these type of homes.

“This project provides a single, rare opportunity to address the shortage in Hebden Bridge, in a central sustainable location within walking distances of shops, transport and schools, therefore supporting active travel,” says the statement.

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Calder Valley Community Land Trust is a charitable body of volunteers formed to provide housing for the benefit of the local community and has already built homes at Walsden, Todmorden, for example, those being aimed at older people.

The trust has held a series of pre-planning consultations and engagements with the local community, including Hebden Bridge Disability Access Forum, over the course of the development of the proposals, with changes made in response to feedback, issues and ideas, says Bauman Lyons.

If approved, the scheme will include two single storey homes which will be wheelchair accessible, and all the homes will be built incorporating energy-efficient techniques including air source heat pumps and solar panels, reducing energy use and, it is hoped, energy bills for the tenants, says the statement.

Last time out an equal number of objections and supporting representations were received by the council, so far this time the first public comment supports the scheme, the responder saying she believes it is: “An excellent proposal, providing affordable homes in an area of high property values and is in stark contrast to the burgeoning number of huge houses for the wealthy being built in and around Hebden Bridge…sited centrally, the residents will be able to access all the facilities of Hebden Bridge without having to have a car.

“The sustainable design embedded in this proposal is a welcome addition to a visionary proposal.”