Todmorden set for ambitious £9.2m town centre transformation

An artist’s impression of how the site may look.

The Council is expected to approve an outline scheme when it meets at Halifax Town Hall next Monday (16/3).

An ambitious £9.2 million transformation of a disused site into homes, a hotel and some retail units which would transform a Calderdale town centre is on the cards.

Councillors are being urged to move at pace to ensure the scheme for Rose Street, at the heart of Todmorden town centre, can benefit from Government Towns Fund cash.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet are expected to make a decision to approve an outline scheme when it meets at Halifax Town Hall next Monday (March 16).

This has already been drawn up by the council and AHR Architects and if eventually delivered will produce a new town square and events space framed by the historic and award-winning Todmorden Market and new retail and apartment hotel block, with the latter including ten apartments and a restaurant.

It will see an overhaul of the outdoor portion of the market with new modern structures to provide weather protection and although the Pollination Street space used by Incredible Edible Todmorden volunteers is likely to be lost, there is potential to focus one of three retail units on the internationally known Incredible Edible offer, say the briefing papers to councillors.

Thirty eight homes would be built in two apartment blocks and a tree-lined boulevard would link Rose Street to the Cambridge Street area.

The scheme will man less parking spaces available in the area – from 103 to 73, a move which will reduce income to the council from around £60,000 to £43,000 a year.

The overall cost of a finished scheme is likely to be around £9.2 million, with the council needing to find around £300,000, likely from the Towns Fund, to progress the scheme to an outline business case by the autumn.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities – and Chair of Todmorden Town Board – Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden) said this was a major opportunity to bring a central part of Todmorden back to life.

“It would bring exciting new facilities and much-needed new housing for local people right in the heart of the town centre and add to the regeneration which is ongoing across Calderdale,” she said.

The briefing papers say the AHR designs have been considered by Todmorden Development Board and its development sub-group and discussions have also been held with other stakeholders and partners who might want to invest in the scheme.

If Cabinet decide to go ahead, further work will include more design detail to ensure the scheme fits in with Todmorden’s character, discussion with market traders on accessing and service arrangements, identifying key partners and working with the Environment Agency to address flood risk.

The site house Todmorden’s main medical centre from the early 1980s until being bought by the council using Yorkshire Forward money in 2009, the building being demolished in 2012 and several attempts to find a viable use for the prime site in the years since.

As well as Incredible Edible’s Pollination Street growing area it has included a green picnic space but a sizeable chunk of the site, once the former health centre’s car park, has merely been closed off.

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