Sites near Bridge Lanes and at Walsden in focus

Calder Valley Community Land Trust secretary Andrew Bibby
Calder Valley Community Land Trust secretary Andrew Bibby

The Calder Valley Community Land Trust, which is campaigning for more affordable housing in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, is inviting local people to public workshops in the two towns on Saturday to discuss possible sites for community-led housing.

The workshops follow the successful launch of the Community Land Trust at public meetings in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge at the end of September, and mark the next stage in the Trust’s development.

Community Land Trusts (charitable bodies under direct community control) have worked well in other towns in Britain and the concept has been embraced by Todmorden Pride and Hebden Bridge Partnership, the two town partnership organisations representing voluntary organisations locally.

According to Andrew Bibby, secretary, the Calder Valley CLT could potentially help provide the sort of wide housing mix not necessarily delivered by commercial housing developers.

“The idea is a simple one. The CLT provides a legal way that land can be held in perpetuity for public good. With land values removed from the calculation, this potentially means that new houses can be built more affordably,” he says.

The Calder Valley CLT has announced that it is focusing primarily on brownfield sites, land which has in the past been used for houses or industry, rather than on greenfield locations. In Hebden Bridge, the CLT is interested in exploring whether streets which were demolished during slum clearances in the 1960s can be brought back to life.

The former High Street at the Bridge Lanes end of town, once a major centre of population and now completely demolished, is one of the areas being considered.

In Todmorden, a number of sites are currently owned by Calderdale, including one in Walsden, are also under consideration.

“However, local people may well have other ideas for possible sites.

“We hope that the sessions on Saturday, November 15, will provide an opportunity for practical discussions about what may be possible.

“We’ll also be soliciting people’s thoughts on the sorts of housing they would like. Just how adventurous can we be in building low-energy housing, for example?”

The workshops on Saturday November 15 will take place in the Hebden Bridge Town Hall, St George’s Street, at 11am and at the Todmorden Central Methodist Church Hall, Bramsche Square, at 2pm.

All are welcome to attend the workshops and each one will last approximately two hours.