Retirement homes for Rose Street?

The former health centre site at Rose Street
The former health centre site at Rose Street

A political row has broken out over the future of the key Rose Street site in Todmorden town centre.

Local Liberal Democrats are questioning future plans for the use of the former health centre site, which is next to Todmorden Market and which currently includes Incredible Edible Todmorden’s Pollination Street, which is now subject of an offer by McCarthy and Stone, one of the country’s leading developers of retirement homes, which has previously been interested in the Abraham Ormerod site.

The council will only proceed when members have agreed an appropriate course of action

Calderdale Council spokesman

Calder ward Coun Janet Battye said her party were concerned “that local Labour councillors want to sell the site to McCarthy and Stone who have made an offer to buy the site off their own back, not in response to any advertising of the site. It is important to us that a public body such as a council sells public land through proper, open processes.

“Secondly, McCarthy and Stone build private flats for older people – this is not in line with the Development Brief and local people have not been consulted on it.

“Calderdale Council’s Cabinet made this decision in a private part of the recent Cabinet meeting because it included confidential financial information. This just isn’t good enough: we want an open, public discussion about what’s happening with this so we’re ‘calling-in’ this decision for closer examination at a meeting of the Council’s Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel.”

Labour has hit back at the Lib Dems, saying it is not only Labour councillors who believe it is a good offer.

Todmorden ward Coun Susan Press stressed that it was early days for the proposal which had gained wider backing. The Liberal Democrats comnplained nothing was being done about “eyesore” sites, yet were objecting when something like this was on the table, she said.

“It is Todmorden Development Board which has agreed this and there is a cross-party concesus - except for Councillor Battye. The decision has been taken by Calderdale Cabinet, which is Conservative. It is a good offer, it is an attractive development and it will enhance the town,” she said.

A spokesperson for Calderdale Council said: “At the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday, March 2, members agreed to accept an offer from McCarthy and Stone to develop the Rose Street site in Todmorden. This resolution has now been ‘called in’, meaning that it has now been referred to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel who will re-examine Cabinet’s decision. The council will only proceed when members have agreed an appropriate course of action.”