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Council turns down Studio BAAD's controversial Hebden Bridge scheme

Studio BAAD’s controversial ‘wonky’ homes scheme in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, which sparked an intimidation campaign against the firm, has been rejected by the local authority.

On Monday night, Calderdale Council’s planning committee rejected its own council officers’ recommendations to approve the £10 million Garden Street project.

The contentious mixed-use development, which would have created 48 homes, eight shops and 160 car-parking spaces in the centre of the town, hit the headlines last month when the practice reported bricks being thrown through its windows.

The firm’s PR, Tim Downs, was warned by an anonymous caller that he would leave Hebden Bridge ‘in a wooden box’ if the scheme went ahead.

However, despite the scheme receiving the support of CABE, the committee felt the project ‘failed to respect or enhance the conservation area’ and was ‘not on a scale consistent with the size of Hebden Bridge’.

The decision has delighted Anthony Rae, one of nearly 300 people at the committee meeting and spokesperson for the Garden Street Action Group, which was opposed to the project. He said: ‘This is a great victory against a completely unnecessary and ill-advised development.

‘[For] the third time, we call upon the developer to act in the best interest of the town and abandon their proposals.’

A disappointed Philip Bintliff, founder of Studio BAAD, said: ‘Against the backdrop of hecklers, I’m not certain any committee could have been expected to have come to a different conclusion.

‘But there are lawyers, barristers and planning consultants looking at the way forward. I can’t see it ending here.’

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