Our proposed development of around twenty 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes for affordable rent on the old High Street site in Hebden Bridge.
2024 – A new future for High Street, Hebden Bridge
In 2019 the CVCLT proposed development on High Street was narrowly turned down at Planning Committee. It had attracted a lot of support, with the need for sustainable, affordable homes widely acknowledged. However, we also received a significant number of objections on areas such as air quality, cladding materials and the prominence of the scheme over the town.
We are now looking at a new, substantially different scheme, in partnership with Connect Housing. We are proposing low energy, low emissions homes that can bring people together, improve health, cohesion, and help reduce fuel poverty. A sensitive, considered development to provide much needed affordable, sustainable housing set within a green, ecologically diverse site.
The scheme would be expensive to build. We need to submit a scheme for planning consent in order to get decisions from funders. This is not ideal, as it incurs a significant cost for the CLT and means that we cannot give certainty to our local community yet. The simple truth is that without having planning permission we cannot get a clear price from contractors or a firm decision from funders.
Additionally, inflation in the building market is very high, with prices and availability volatile. If we are ultimately successful in gaining planning consent, inflation may make the building these much needed homes unviable.
Following our community consultation at the end of November 2021, we have now made some changes to the appearance, access and layout of the homes. We have updated the images (in early May 2022) and will add more as we get them. We also plan to show our plans in a public space in Hebden Bridge, with a view to submitting a scheme for planning shortly.
Our new proposal
20 comfortable new, low energy, affordable rented homes
As with the 2018 scheme, a development of twenty sustainable homes to be let for affordable rent to Hebden Bridge people in housing need. This scheme is carefully designed to address the concerns that were levelled at the previous scheme, whilst still delivering spacious, healthy, environmentally sound, high quality homes. It would be:
Set back into the land, less prominent and further from the traffic
We are proposing moving the terrace to the North (high) side of the lane, whereas the previous scheme was to the south.
And closer to the town centre
The new design starts considerably further from the Heptonstall Road junction and the Fox and Goose.
With a more varied and traditional design
Featuring an attractive façade and using a variety of materials, including stone on the road facing façade.
What are we proposing?
The revised scheme is to the north of the High Street track, set back into the hillside. Some key points:
- 20 homes giving a mix of 1,2 and 3 bedrooms.
- 40 bedroom accommodating up to 66 people, over 1510sqm in total
- High environmental, quality and space standards
- A terrace of three slightly offset blocks, all four stories high.
- The external design will be varied, featuring stone at ground floor level.
- Over and Under dwellings. Flats and duplexes.
- Ground floor access from a widened High St. Higher floors accessed from behind via a new ‘Back High Street’.
- Lower levels smaller due to retaining structure. Ground floor and one second floor homes are back to earth.
- All homes have private outside space through balconies or patios
- Two dwellings designed with enhanced accessibility, to Building Regulations Part M4(3).
- High levels of insulation and airtightness levels. No gas. Option for roof mounted PV panels.
- Shading and mechanical ventilation included to manage overheating Bike shed and bin store included. 14 car parking spaces.
What is different this time?
- Same number of homes, but accommodates slightly less people in less bedrooms on a smaller footprint
- Much less prominent; materially further from Bridge Lanes. On the North side of the track, and further to the East.
- More visually varied elevation, addressing the concerns that the old design was too monolithic
- More traditional build allows heavier materials to be used and a design that addresses previous heritage concerns on the appearance.
- As before, a very sustainable site and a strong focus on quality, space and environmental performance.
- Outside the Air quality Management Area and with a full air quality survey undertaken.
- Partnered with Connect Housing.
- Keeps the lower green space intact allowing landscaping, addressing concerns about the visual amenity as you enter/exit Hebden.
- The retaining wall under the road is much smaller and further from Bridge Lanes, and will be planted.
- Will require more excavation and groundworks on the site.
- For reference, the previous scheme is still shown below.
More improvements in 2022.
In response to the feedback we received at the end of 2021, we have made changes to improve the appearance and accessibility of the development.
Materials – We have increased use of stone to the front elevation and added visible window lintels and cills for a more interesting and traditional look. The colours of the balconies and external stairs have been softened.
To the rear elevation we are proposing good quality brick of two colours, this gives a modern feel and will weather better in the wooded setting.
Accessibility – Back High Street has been extended to Heptonstall Road. We have removed the first steps from Back High Street to give step free access to a further two homes.
The internal layout of 6 homes has been ‘flipped’ to a traditional layout of living accommodation downstairs and sleeping upstairs.
Surveys – Air quality and noise monitoring surveys have been undertaken, as these were areas that concerns were raised on the previous proposal, and these show that the proposed location is comfortably within acceptable levels.
We are grateful to the Community Housing Fund Revenue Programme 2021/22, which is funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), for a grant of £38,000 that has enabled us to untertake this additional work, and to get this far.
- The Community Housing Fund Revenue Programme 2021/22 will increase the supply of affordable housing in England by supporting the community led housing sector to progress schemes to the build phase.
- Community Led Homes is managing the Programme and is run by four leading community-led housing organisations: Confederation of Co-operative Housing, Locality, National Community Land Trust Network and UK Cohousing.
- Community led housing is a way that people and communities can come together to solve their own housing challenges and provide high quality and affordable homes. The homes are managed or owned by the community in the way they want.
November 2021 Community Consultation Boards
2018 scheme and planning documents – High Street, Hebden Bridge
However on Tuesday February 5 2019 Calderdale’s Planning Committee rejected our planning application, three councillors voting against and two voting in favour. This was despite a comprehensive report from the planning officer which recommended permit.
You can read the planner officer’s report to committee here.
We decided not to appeal against the decision and instead went back to the (literal) drawing board to come up with a new option that addressed the concerns raised by the planning committee and as many objections as we could whilst still delivering high quality, sustainable and affordable homes for Hebden Bridge. We expect a new scheme will be designed by the end of 2021.
You can find all the plans and documents for our original proposal at Calderdale’s planning portal. The full address is here: hportal.calderdale.gov.uk/online-applications/caseDetails.do?caseType=Application&keyVal=PCGOUHDWIOK00
There’s a lot of documents there. You may find it interesting to look first at the ‘Design and Access’ statement, which is a good summary of the proposal.
Here are some of the images from the previous planning application:
Asking the town – our public consultations so far
As a charity run entirely for community benefit, we tried to involve the community in our plans to ensure that the houses which are built are those which local people want to see.
As well as the 2018 consultations, we held a consultation about our High Street plans in Hebden Bridge Town Hall in February 2016 and a second consultation in the Methodist Church hall on January 14th 2017. These consultations focused on what local people would like to see CVCLT develop on the site.
In February 2017 we held an evening consultation with people who were interested in living in the proposed homes, and what they felt was important for the scheme to deliver. A sense of community and a lot of practical things, such as ‘where can I dry my tent’ or ‘park my bike’ together with a real interest in the outside space on the site where the main feedback points.
We followed this up with another event in the Methodist Church Hall, very near the site, on March 25th 2018 where out architects, Bauman Lyons Associates, presented the development of the scheme so far and their first draft proposals. The slides from the presentation are here. This was the early version of the scheme with 27 homes, which was reduced to 20 homes in the scheme submitted for planning permission.
We held a final pre-planning consultation on Sat 21st April 2018 to present the scheme that we hoped to submit for planning after some final tweaks to respond to feedback.
Looking back at the previous homes on High Street
The possibility of bringing new life back to High Street, the site of housing cleared in the 1960s slum clearances, is something which we think symbolically reflects the way that Hebden Bridge has re-created itself after the terrible economic disasters of the 1960s and 1970s. High Street, now a small tarmacked lane, is off Heptonstall Road near the Fox and Goose pub.
Of course, until the clearances of the mid ’60s High Street was a densely populated and highly developed part of Hebden Bridge. There were over 70 dwellings as well as shops and workshops on the site, as this map of the road layout in the early 60s shows. There are still residents of Hebden today who remember living on High Street.
We have put together a booklet of old photographs showing High Street as it was in its heyday.
The booklet can be downloaded from this website, by clicking on the link above.
Drawings and plans for High Street, March 2017 We held a consultation report-back meeting on Sat March 25th in the Hebden Bridge Methodist Church hall, when our architects reported on what they have been doing since our Jan 14th consultation. This post includes...
About fifty people came along to our consultation, held in the Methodist Church hall on Saturday January 14th. A full report of the event, including details of comments, concerns and issues raised, can be consulted here.
The CLT organised a well-attended public meeting on Saturday Feb 27 2016 in Hebden Bridge Town Hall, to discuss community responses to our proposal. About 60 attended for the initial meeting (photo below) and thirty stayed for the more practical workshop, run by...