Plan to demolish town’s former healthcare centre to build flats is ‘gross overdevelopment’, objectors claim
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More than 40 residents in Horbury have objected to the scheme, with the town’s civic society describing the scheme as “gross over-development”.
The building, on Westfield Road, has not been in use since 2016 and has fallen into disrepair.
The plan includes building two blocks of flats, each containing six one-bed properties.
A car park to the front of the existing building would also be demolished.
A car park to the back, facing on Tithe Barn Street, would be retained.
Six ground floor flats would have access to private gardens.
The remaining first-floor properties would have balconies.
The site is next to the Horbury Conservation Area.
A total of 43 objections have been submitted to the local authority.
Horbury Civic Society has complained about the the “poor design” of the proposals, describing it as a “gross over-development of the site”.
Darren Byford and Deb Nicholls, councillors for Horbury and South Ossett ward, are also opposed to the plans.
A join objection by the two Labour councillors states: “Some years ago Horbury had a very negative experience when a number of single bed units, on the High Street, were contracted out as accommodation for ex-offenders.
“The town suffered from an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour.
“I would therefore request that the purpose of the buildings is provided to ensure that this does not happen again.”
People living near to the site on Bank Street have raised concerns about a loss of privacy and loss of sunlight.
A resident’s objection says: “It is totally not in keeping with the nature and character of the surrounding area which constitutes a mix of terraced, semi detached and detached properties, most of which are older character properties and is directly adjacent to a conservation area on Tithe Barn Street.”
Another objector adds: “Whilst I agree something needs doing with the current eyesore I do not believe that building so many properties in such a small space would work or be beneficial for the neighbouring community.”
A heritage statement submitted on behalf of the applicant says the new buildings will be “more sympathetic” to the nearby conservation area than the “brutalist style” of the current healthcare building.
A council officer’s report states: “The scale of the development is considered to be acceptable, making efficient use of the site and providing a mix of housing for the town.
“The scheme would have an acceptable impact on the neighbouring residential properties in terms of light impact, overshadowing and overbearing impacts.”
The council’s planning highways committee will consider the application at a meeting on October 18.