£450,000 is the guide price for key development land

The Halifax Road, Todmorden, site is up for auction on July 8, 2013
The Halifax Road, Todmorden, site is up for auction on July 8, 2013

The Halifax Road site - one of the key development plots in Todmorden, - has been put up for auction at a guide price between £450,000 and £500,000.

Commercial property auctioneers CBRE will put the land under the hammer at the Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London, on Monday, July 8, at 2pm..

It has been put up for sale on the instructions of S. Muncaster and D. J. Whitehouse, joint administrators of Stannard Homes Ltd and Stannard Homes LLP, which had bought the site.

The thtee-acre site has been one of the hottest properties around in the last two years, with supermarket giants Sainsbury’s and Asda both losing appeals to be allowed to build.

CBRE’s catalogue describes the site has having outline planning permission for a “substantial” town centre development opportunity with full vacant possession on completion, “a short distance from the town centre in a mixed commercial and residential centre” with its southern boundary adjacent to the Rochdale Canal.

A cleared brownfield site of about three acres, outline planning permission was granted on appeal on July 12, 2006, for a mixed use development comprising eight shops and offices, 28 apartments, 12 town houses and nine industrial units, under application number 04/02681/OUT.

Planning application number 10/01382/FUL, dated November 1, 2010, was subject of a planning appeal by Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd and others - including Asda -in July 2012 and was refused in November 2012.

Todmorden resident and Calder ward councillor on Calderdale Council Janet Battye said a major fear was that someone would buy the site at auction and just “land bank” it.

She had already been lobbying Calderdale Council to take action over the eyesore state of the site as, rather like the Asda-owned skites at Burnley Road, the former Abraham Ormerod centre and former Olympia Cinema, it was on a major gateway into the town.

“My worst fear is someone will buy it, won’t have any plans for it and we will see it empty for longer.

“Whoever buys it needs to know we want the site tidied and then used,” said Coun Battye.

She said the best scenario would be seeing if groups or individuals in Todmorden who had plans for the site could buy it.

“If people I have talked about it with could buy it and put it into use for some of these ideas, that would really move it forward,” said Coun Battye.

In the meantime, she would keep pressurising Calderdale Council to take action over the state of the site.

She added that she believed the planning status of the site was unclear as the 2006 permission was subject to some legal agreement being made before it could go ahead.

At the time of the Sainsbury’s application one scheme suggested was that a marina and hotel complex could be developed, creating much debate in the town.