Heptonstall’s Council Built Housing

Heptonstall has a few roads of council built housing established just before and just after WW2. Here is part of it’s history. Thank you to Mary R Ellen for the content of this page.

On 23 November 1918, less than a fortnight after the end of World War One, Prime Minister David Lloyd George set out his vision.  “What is our task? To make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in. “There are millions of men who will come back. Let us make this a land fit for such men to live in. There is no time to lose.” The plan was to build 500,000 new homes in five years.

“Medical opinion is unanimous as to the importance of allowing plenty of sunshine to penetrate into the rooms,” (Ministry of Health)

  •  It recommended a general distance of 70ft between rows of houses facing each other.
  • There would be 12 houses to an acre in urban areas and eight in rural areas.
  • The ceilings in the houses would be 8ft high on average.
  • The largest with parlours would be over 1,100 sq ft
  • The smallest bedroom would be 8 foot square.
  • These new houses would each have a bath, and a minimum of three bedrooms.

Clement Attlee’s post-war Labour government built more than a million homes, 80% of which were council houses.

With resources tight, cheaper solutions were employed. 156,623 single-storey houses or ‘prefabs’ were built in eleven different styles but all based on a standard government design put out to tender. Prefabs – factory built, single storey, temporary bungalows – were expected to last for only 10 years, but they proved popular with many residents and many lasted decades beyond their planned lifespan.

Heptonstall First Phase – Pre-war

56 houses to be built in the first wave. (West Laithe) May 18th 1938: cost set at £25,382

August 1939:

‘It was resolved that 2 entrances be made to the spare land adjoining the road entering the estate and that the Architect prepare a lay-out plan of such land. The roads in the estate to be named as follows: road leading from Towngate to Acres lane – Hepton Drive. The road through the field formerly known as Longfield to be named Longfield and the road leading through the field formerly known as South Field be named South-field.’

Above: Evidence of long drawn out written correspondence with John Sutcliffe, re compulsory purchase of 2 fields at £100 per acre. In September 20th 1939 bungalows to be let to the following:

Mr. O.M. Longbottom, Old Chamber, Mr. George A. Helliwell, 11 Old Chamber, Mrs. Lena Sutcliffe, Spa Hole, Mrs Reeve 1 Highgate Farm Cottages, Mrs Helliwell, Hollins, Mrs. M.H.Taylor, 6 Townfield View, Mrs. Shackleton 40 Slack Top, Mrs. Ingham, Swan Fold, Mr. Gardner Buller, Blackshaw Fold, Mr. Edmund Feather, Blackshaw Fold

The following houses offered to:

2 Hepton Drive – P.C. Andrews, Heptonstall, 4 Hepton Drive – Mr. T. Hargreaves, Harle Syke, Burnley, 6 Hepton Drive – Mr. A.E. Sellars, Heptonstall, 4 Southfield – Mr. Harry Lawton, Thistle Bottom, Erringdon, 8 Southfield – Mr .J. Taylor, Highfield Crescent, Hebden Bridge, 20 Southfield – Mr .J. Platt, Highgate, Heptonstall, 22 Southfield – W. Birtwhistle, Heptonstall, 10 Hepton Drive – Mr. Charles Greenwood, Heptonstall

Second Wave – Post War

44 houses built in Southfield, Longfield, Acres Lane.  Work started in April 1946. Also a series of pre fabs are built. July 1945: approval granted for site of 10 temporary houses on Townfield Lane November 1945: permission granted for the Council to take possession of a plot of land 0.613 acres adjoining Townfield Lane and owned by Mr Clifford Barritt of Star Chamber and 0.586 acres owned by Mr Nathan Morre of Cross Farm. April 1946: work begun on foundations. Two bedrooms each, 750 sq.ft