WORKERS at a Calderdale company looking to sell land to secure its future have backed a planning application for a 160 property housing estate.
Crosslee Plc based in Hipperholme have applied for outline planning permission for 160 residential properties on unused land at their base off Spout House Lane.
The planning application has been opposed by 35 residents with hundreds more signing a six-page petition calling for the plans to be scrapped.
But more than 56 letters of support have been sent to Calderdale Council calling for it to be approved.
The letters, seen by the Examiner, are mainly from workers of Crosslee who also live near to the site.
Many are similar and contain the phrase “Please support local jobs, please support manufacturing in Calderdale, please support this application”.
One, by Ian Smith, of Wakefield Road, Hipperholme, says the land is an eyesore and needs developing.
Another by Barry Tate reads: “...hundreds of other workers are in danger of losing their jobs if this application is not successful. This would have a devastating effects on people’s livelihoods.”
Crosslee Plc, Europe’s largest independent tumble dryer manufacturer, employs 420 workers at their Hipperholme base.
Information included within the planning application shows the company has just experienced its worst year for trading in its 23 years history.
Crosslee want to profit from their disposable land in order to strengthen on their future worth and security of the business.
But residents living around the 4.28 hectare site are not happy.
A six-page petition and 35 letters of objection have been submitted, with comments ranging from the development having an adverse impact on highway safety, overdevelopment of the proposed site and lack of school places.
Others felt there were not enough NHS resources while others raised concerns about noise nuisance and loss of green space in an area which faces a lot of development.
To the east of the site is greenbelt land, separated by St Giles Road.
In a statement to the council, Crosslee say: “Granting of an outline planning consent for residential use would immediately enhance the value of the site which would be reflected in the Crosslee balance sheet and strengthen the work and security of the business.”
Crosslee liquidated one land asset in Flint, North Wales, in 2007 for £1.2m and are now looking to liquidate a further land asset at the Hipperholme site. But it is proposed they would retain land to the rear of their large factory for future expansion.
The planners agree that it would be a “major blow” to the local economy if Crosslee were to close and have recommended the application for approval in view of the ‘significant extenuating circumstances’.
The site, described as brown field, would have 37 houses per hectare.
The application will go before the Calderdale Council planning committee tomorrow.