News from the planners…

Are you wondering what has been happening with our planning application for twenty new affordable homes on the site of the old High Street, Hebden Bridge?
Well, we’ve been wondering too!  We heard last month that a backlog of work at Calderdale’s planning department meant that they wouldn’t be able to meet the original November deadline they’d given us, and that the application would be heard in December.
And we’re just heard that there’s been a further delay.  The planning application is now scheduled to be heard on Tuesday January 15th.  If you supported (or, of course, if you objected to) our plans, you should be notified automatically by the council.  And we’ll put out a newsletter in early January, too.

…which means a delay for the community shares issue

The delay has had an immediate knock-on effect on our timetable for the community share issue launch, which we had hoped to achieve before Christmas – and then rearranged for January.
It’s frustrating that almost a year after we had the share issue pre-launch, we’re still not in a position to give a firm date for the formal launch. Assuming the January planning timescale is met, we expect the launch to be in early Spring 2019.

Mini ‘pioneer’ share issue for Walsden

This has however given us the chance to undertake an immediate ‘pioneer’ community share issue to contribute £50,000 to the funding package for our development in Walsden of six independent-living bungalows. We are looking for a small number of investors of between £2,000-£5,000 each and will be approaching some of you who indicated that you expected to be able to invest in the main HB share issue to see if you are prepared to invest in Walsden instead/as well. Interest will be initially set at 2%.
We’re not going to advertise this as a public share offer, and there won’t be any of the large-scale razzmatazz we’ve been planning for the main launch next year.  But do let us know if you are interested. An offer document is available.

Partnership with Pennine Community Power

We’re delighted to be able to announce a partnership with another local Community Benefit Society, Pennine Community Power. We are about to sign a partnership agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) with PCP, to work collaboratively to develop community-owned renewable energy projects linked to the CVCLT’s planned and future developments in the Calder Valley area.

Hebden Bridge Signal Box

Network Rail moves at a glacial pace, and our attempts to push them quickly to confirm the transfer of the (now decommissioned) HB signal box into community ownership through the CLT are so far failing to get the folk at Railway Towers in York responding. Nevertheless, Network Rail has on at last two occasions recently indirectly indicated that it is still working for this transfer of ownership, so we remain optimistic that – eventually – something positive can be arranged.
In the meantime, we’re delighted to report that an embryonic Hebden Bridge Signal Box Preservation Group has been set up, able to work closely with the CLT and the Friends of the Station when Network Rail finally gives us the green light. Mel King is convening this group.  Contact her on if you would like to know the dates of future meetings or be kept in touch.

Community-led housing in Calderdale

We’ve just heard that funding from the government’s newly launched community housing fund will be coming to Calderdale, to help develop community-led housing initiatives in the borough – including, of course, our own work.  We expect to know the details in the New Year.

Best wishes for the holiday season from the CLT’s trustees