Furness Avenue is one of three North Halifax areas being prioritised. Credit: Google Earth

Keepmoat lined up for Halifax housing

Calderdale Council is set to rubber-stamp a land transfer that will allow the housebuilder to start the delivery of 240 homes and a care facility.

The meeting of the local authority’s cabinet on 12 June will be asked to approve the “appropriation” of council-owned land at Furness Avenue from the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to the Housing Act 1085, to facilitate delivery by Keepmoat, Calderdale’s preferred partner.

The site in question is one of those that make up the North Halifax Transformation Programme (NHTP), which itself falls within West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin’s pledge to deliver 5,000 sustainable homes.

North Halifax has been given spatial priority area status by WYCA, meaning it will be prioritised for regional funding opportunities.

Calderdale’s cabinet decided in September 2022 that its preferred bidder for NHTP would be Keepmoat Homes. The NHPT programme as a whole covers 240 homes, an age-inclusive extra care facility, public open space and active travel routes, to be delivered across three sites: Furness Avenue, Turner Avenue South and Clough Lane.

The rather convoluted necessity of transferring the council’s ownership from one legal entity to another comes from a covenant attached to an area linked to the site, which may have contributed to two previous attempts to dispose of the site to the market – there are 11 freeholders involved in the associated site. By changing the site’s status this matter can be overcome to allow for housing development.

As outlined in the report for cabinet, the value of the site has not yet been determined, and will only be done so on securing a satisfactory planning consent – at which point the transfer of ownership can proceed.

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West Yorks and the Calder Valley should be a cool hotspot for liberal elite professional type commuters into Leeds and Manchester. They deserve better than box housing

By Ted

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