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Calderdale's contentious plan examination continues

CPRE West Yorkshire editor
By CPRE West Yorkshire editor
17th August 2022

The examination of Calderdale’s local plan continues. Submitted in January 2019 as part of the 2012 NPPF transition arrangements, consultation on the proposed main modifications is now open.

Calderdale’s local plan examination continues to generate exceptional interest from community groups and individual participants across Calderdale. From ambitious growth targets, concerns around air quality, transport modelling and the large-scale car-dependent developments that will infringe on the greenbelt.

‘Garden suburbs’ swallowing up the Green Belt.

The local plan proposes two ‘Garden Suburbs’ on the existing Green Belt between Brighouse and the M62. CPRE remains deeply concerned that these new settlements will be far too car-dependent and will effectively join Brighouse up to neighbouring Huddersfield

To quote our article on garden suburbs.

‘The proposed Garden Suburbs at Brighouse have several problems. For one, they swallow up that remaining countryside between the town and the motorway, and some of that countryside is in fact, very beautiful, and relatively tranquil. It’s a breathing space that will be lost. For another, a walk home from town would not be for the faint-hearted: steeply uphill and much of it along a busy dual carriageway. For another, it would be much quicker to drive onto the motorway and into Leeds by car than to go to Brighouse station and catch the train. In other words, all the ingredients of unsustainable developments are there, waiting to be baked into yet another car-dependent sprawl’.

Unprecedented community involvement

At CPRE West Yorkshire, we are passionate about connecting community groups and campaigners, encouraging groups to use their local knowledge, participate in the plan-making process and help shape the right outcomes. We were instrumental in connecting community groups across Calderdale. The ability to share knowledge and collaborate is undoubtedly helping to shape coherent responses to an overwhelming evidence base.

Long examination process

The examination of Calderdale’s local plan has been long, protracted, and generated exceptional public interest, including a Sky News interview with Greetland resident Lyndsey Ashton that coincided with the release of CPREs ‘State of the Greenbelt’ report. For a detailed look at this local plan examination, Brighouse resident Jason Carlton explains the challenges faced by Calderdale in Trouble in Happy Valley: Calderdale Council struggles to agree its local plan.

Main modifications

The Planning Inspector’s March 2022 post-hearing letter noted that main modifications are required to make the plan capable of being found sound and legally compliant. With 1221 pages covering over 300 modifications. CPRE West Yorkshire will continue to monitor the situation in Calderdale and support local community groups in shaping the right outcome for Calderdale.

Further reading

Read Calderdale planning matters for more information and our previous submissions. You can find out more and comment on Calderdale’s main modifications consultation here.

Cifton, Brighouse - green belt land, proposed strategic extension
View from Thornhills Lane, Clifton - proposed strategic site CPRE West Yorkshire