Mayor’s fury over Rose Street plans

The Rose Street site
The Rose Street site

Controversy surrounding the future of the former health centre site at Rose Street in Todmorden town centre continues to rage.

Todmorden Town Council has passed a motion calling on Calderdale Council to halt the process of selling the site to McCarthy and Stone.

The firm is looking to transform the area into a gated retirement community, but the site was originally put forward by Yorkshire Forward to develop for the economic benefit of Todmorden.

Now the Mayor of Todmorden Steph Booth has said she is concerned that due process has not been followed and that decisions have been made by officers behind closed doors.

She said: “It seems very strange all round - the whole things has been done in a very odd manner.

“I think legally they are on dodgy grounds and I think we will have to refer it to the Ombudsman.”

“If Calderdale Council are so sure of their legal grounds for this, they should have no problem in suspending the sale until a full investigation is complete.

“I think it’s scandalous. What is going on?” added Coun Booth (Lab, Todmorden)

The sale of the site to McCarthy and Stone was agreed by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on March 2 this year, but Ian Hughes, the head legal officer at Calderdale Council, told councillors that no contract relating to the Rose Street site will be exchanged until planning permission has been granted.

Whatever plans McCarthy and Stone want to put forward for Rose Street will have to go through the usual planning routes, with public discussions and objections heard.

The scheme will be discussed at the next meeting of the Todmorden Development Board.

Councillor Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden), member of the Todmorden Development Board, said: “We agreed several weeks ago to schedule the next Development Board for July 1 so there would be a discussion of these issues with Todmorden Town Council’s Development Committee immediately after our usual meeting at the Town Hall.

“Senior officers from Calderdale and councillors will I am sure, be more than happy to address any questions or concerns regarding the Rose Street development and I hope it is a constructive meeting.“