Calrec expansion is given the green light
ONE of Hebden Bridge’s biggest employers has had controversial plans to extend its premises approved.
Calrec Audio Ltd has been given permission to extend to the back of Nutclough Mill on Victoria Road, despite opposition from residents and ward councillors.
Calderdale Council’s planning committee heard the expansion bid for the Grade II listed building and an attached listed building consent application had attracted 49 letters of objection and 14 letters of support.
Those letters included objections from Calder Ward Councillors Nader Fekri and Dave Young, and support from Calder Ward Councillor Janet Battye.
The committee heard that Calrec Audio, which designs and makes broadcast audio mixing consoles which are sold around the world, is one of the largest employers in the town, with 146 people working for the company.
The extension would enable the company to employ 24 more people and ensure long-time commitment as an employer in the town. If the company was unable to extend at the site, the committee was told, it may have to look for larger and more appropriate premises elsewhere.
Roger Henderson, Managing Director of Calrec said: “The decision to approve the planning application for the building extension to the rear of Nutclough Mill is a major step in our plans to accommodate our growing business on one site. The development will allow us to create a world-class, purpose built manufacturing facility, which in turn will help to safeguard jobs and allow us to continue to develop the business. Calrec’s history is embedded in Hebden Bridge, and we are delighted to be able to pledge our future to the town.”
But objectors’ had several concerns including about the visual impact of the development and the materials that would be used.
Coun Young said: “I’ve got nothing against the extension but it should be made with the same materials as Nutclough and the houses.”
Coun Fekri said he thought the company should come back with a “more appropriate” plan.
Speaking in support of the plan, Coun Battye said she thought a lot of thought had been put into the plans and it was important to keep a thriving international operation such as Calrec Audio in the area.
Committee member and Elland Ward Councillor David Hardy said: “We’re living in difficult times. It would be great to be able to build everything with stone slate roofs but they can’t be found anymore.”
The committee approved the extension bid and the listed building application.
After the meeting objector and local resident Helen Taylor said: “So many things have gone wrong with this application. The application for the building is for a metal roof and the green roof is only an option. We wanted the green roof to be put on the application as a must if it was approved, but the committee didn’t do that.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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