DCSIMG

Eyesores ‘have to be sorted’

Mike Smith with local councillors, Margereta Holmstedt and Janet Battye, collecting signatures outside the former Abraham Ormerod Centre, Burnley Road, Todmorden

Mike Smith with local councillors, Margereta Holmstedt and Janet Battye, collecting signatures outside the former Abraham Ormerod Centre, Burnley Road, Todmorden

Councillors are calling for action to end the blight of derelict town centre sites in Todmorden.

Despite Asda having planning permission for a store on the former Abraham Ormerod Centre and Olympia cinema site on Burnley Road, and Spring Petroleum Company Ltd buying the Halifax Road gateway site in September, both sites remain empty with no signs of development work beginning in the near future.

Now local ward and town councillors are calling on Calderdale Council to take positive action to help speed up the development plans and, in the meantime, tidy up the two sites to make them more attractive to visitors and residents alike.

Calder ward councillor Janet Battye said: “We will be putting more pressure on them to use their powers under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act to force the site owners to tidy up the Halifax Road and Burnley Road derelict sites.

“We know that local people are fed up with this.

“There’s a continued frustration that Calderdale Council doesn’t seem to be getting on with doing anything.

“In the end, Calderdale Council has responsibility for regeneration. The council should be engaging with the site owners and encouraging them.”

Coun Battye is also disappointed that the January meeting of the Todmorden Development Board - of which she is a member - has been cancelled, meaning there will not be another opportunity to discuss the issues until March.

While Asda has planning permission for a new supermarket on the Burnley Road site, the new owners of the Halifax Road site have yet to reveal their intentions.

Coun Battye feels that an Asda store on Burnley Road would be a good addition to the town.

“It will add to the attraction of the town centre and increase the amount of car parking available,” she said.

“Asda seem to be keen to work with local people and make sure that their offer adds to the town centre.”

Coun Battye and fellow Liberal Democrat councillors have started a petition calling for the council to take action.

They will be in the town centre on Saturday to collect signatures.

Coun Margareta Holmstedt, a Lib Dem town councillor, said: “This is yet another delay in this never ending saga of inaction by Calderdale Council.

“Nothing is happening, nothing is moving on.”

The petition will be presented to a future meeting of Calderdale Council.

 

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