Calderdale Planning Matters

Shibden Valley
Shibden Valley Photo Credit: Charlesdrakew – Wikipedia

The Calderdale district’s economic focus is Halifax and its associated industrial heritage, but in some ways it is the most rural of West Yorkshire’s districts, as most of its population is concentrated in the south-eastern quadrant of Halifax, Brighouse and Elland. It is in this area where the majority of proposed new development is located, with the draft Local Plan proposing two ‘Garden Suburbs’ between Brighouse and the M62. CPRE is deeply concerned that these new settlements will be far too car-dependent, and will effectively join Brighouse up to neighbouring Huddersfield.

To the east and north-east of Halifax is the narrow and very hilly wedge of landscape separating it from Bradford. This landscape Shibden Hall, the villages of Northowram and Shelf and Queensbury (in Bradford District) and then curves northwards to Ogden Water – a reservoir and country park and up onto Ovenden Moor, where there is a large wind farm. These features highlight just how hard this landscape has worked, and continues to work, for the adjacent urban populations.

To the west of Halifax is a world of tongue-tickling places names – Mytholmroyd, Todmorden, Mankinholes, Hebden Bridge – where the compact towns and villages seem to have been carved directly out of the deeply contoured rock. The landscape is heavy and stunning, but the settlements have suffered from major flooding in recent years and continue to be vulnerable. Hebden Bridge and Todmorden are also fantastic cultural centres, with the latter being the birthplace of the Incredible Edible movement.