PLANS to demolish the former Hipperholme Grammar Junior School building and build 14 large family homes have been passed.

Developer Torsion Homes submitted proposals for the site off Wakefield Road in Lightcliffe, which have now been approved by Calderdale Council planners.

The plans include demolishing the former school building, which was vacated by the grammar school in 2017 when the junior and senior school merged at its existing site in Bramley Lane, Hipperholme.

The redundant site was then put up for sale.

The Leeds-based developer now has permission to build a total of 14 homes, of four and five bedrooms, with a mixture of detached and semi-detached. The development is set to be called Watkins Place.

In documents submitted by planning agents Moreton-Deakin Associates as part of the application, it states: "The site is located off the main Wakefield Road and is accessed via Highland Ville. It comprises a former school building and incorporates existing outdoor play areas.

"It is adjacent to various residential developments. The land is generally level.

"There is considerable tree cover to the innermost boundary of the site. There is not listed structure either on or adjacent to the site.

"The building on the site is vacant and redundant as the former Hipperholme Grammar Junior School."

It adds: "The existing building on the site is of no architectural merit and is structurally unstable, therefore there are no issues with its demolition.

"Proposed dwelling types incorporate a range of accommodation. Ridge and eave line along with the roof designs and fenestration would be varied and add interest to the character of the proposals.

"Stone facades with punched openings and slate roofs would not only maintain but enhance the character and appearance of the area."

There were eight letters of objection to the plans and one neutral letter, according to a report by Council planners. However a number of residents withdrew their opposition to the plans following a meeting between residents and the architect.

Objections had centred on the additional traffic and potential parking issues, as well as a loss of privacy.

There were also concerns about a potential covenant on the playground area preventing anything being built on that part of the site.

It was confirmed that the covenant from 1924 was in fact released by a deed dated 1974.

The Council report adds that the initial plans were for 15 houses on the site, and that initially a request was made by the Council for a proportion of those houses to be affordable.

However once the layout was amended to address some of the concerns from neighbours, and the number of homes dropped to 14, this fell below the threshold for affordable housing to be provided.

All of the properties will be built using natural materials instead of artificial stone.

They will also have private gardens, and boundaries will be a mix of the existing stone wall, a timber fence and hedgerow planting.

"There will be a gated vehicle entrance which is framed between a stone pier and close boarded fencing which will be formed along the pedestrian entrance to the north of plot 14," added the report.