Next steps for garden communities

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy

Plans are progressing for two new garden communities in Calderdale, which will bring new homes and facilities to help people thrive at all life stages, access jobs and contribute to strong towns and climate action.

Woodhouse Garden Community in Rastrick and Thornhills Garden Community in Brighouse are a major part of delivering the Local Plan that was adopted in March 2023. Together, they have capacity to provide around 3000 new homes, two primary schools and a range of community facilities.

People could soon have their say on documents setting out how the garden communities should be designed to deliver high-quality development and ensure they are successful places. The documents would feed into the planning application process for each site.

At their meeting on Monday 7 August 2023, Cabinet Members will be asked to approve a four-week public consultation on the Garden Communities Masterplan Supplementary Planning Documents and the Design Code Supplementary Planning Documents for both Woodhouse and Thornhills.

This follows extensive consultation on the garden community proposals through the preparation of the Local Plan and further scrutiny through the independent Planning Inspector’s examination.

When developed, the garden communities will provide a significant proportion of the Local’s Plan’s overall housing requirement for Calderdale. The mix of homes on each site will include between one and four bedrooms, affordable homes and adaptable and accessible features to support age- and disabled-friendly communities. 

Each community will also benefit from a new primary school, large green and open spaces including parks, hedgerows and community growing areas, and cycle tracks and footways to encourage active travel.

All development will respect the surrounding heritage, as well as the priority to take climate action through features such as no gas boilers in homes, natural drainage to increase flood resilience, and mobility hubs with cycle parking, bus stops and charging points for e-bikes and mobility scooters.

Community facilities at Woodhouse will include a local grocery store, café and community hall, and at Thornhills there will be a farm shop and café, community hall and nursery.

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“A phenomenal amount of hard work has gone into drafting these Supplementary Planning Documents, in partnership with local landowners and developers. They do a great job of setting out how our garden communities need to be designed and built to achieve the Council’s priorities for thriving towns and places, reduced inequalities and climate action.

“Ultimately the documents will help to create a real sense of place and somewhere that people of all ages and backgrounds can live a healthy, happy and successful life.”

Construction work on both sites will take place in phases over a number of years, with an expected start date of 2024 and estimated completion in 2034 for Woodhouse and 2039 for Thornhills.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting is on Monday 7 August at Halifax Town Hall from 3pm. The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

Calderdale’s Local Plan and garden communities support the Vision 2024 for Calderdale themes of distinctiveness, resilience and enterprise. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved with the debate on Twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at

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