PEOPLE living close to a massive new development of homes and warehouses in Mirfield have been ‘misled’ over the size and scope of the development.
That’s the opinion of one local councillor, who says the Moor Park 25 scheme – formerly known as Mirfield 25 – off the A62 Leeds Road is not what residents were told it would be.
Conservative Martyn Bolt has sharply criticised Labour colleagues on Kirklees Council for approving the scheme, which, he says, brings with it traffic ‘chaos’.
The authority says it is doing ‘everything possible’ to minimise disruption on the roads.
Seven warehouses and 166 houses are earmarked for the 15.4-acre site. Wetherby-based Caddick Developments are handling the build.
But Coun Bolt says residents whose homes are bordered by the development, as well as commuters whose route takes them past the site, are worried about congestion, the risk of flooding and what the project will look like on completion.
“The developer has said on social media that they were redeveloping a brownfield site,” said Coun Bolt.
“I took issue with that because to the best of my knowledge it was agricultural land. There has also been mining on the land but not since 1941.
“The Caddick statement is misleading. To be telling people that it’s brownfield misrepresents what they are doing (on that land). They are doing their core business of building. They are not regenerating.
“Talking to residents, what we see there is not what anybody had been led to believe before.”
Householders on Sunny Bank Drive have also expressed concern over a ‘lake’ created on the site to store ground water.
Some fear their homes could be inundated if heavy rain overwhelms the man-made lake.
Coun Bolt said: “The on-site water collection was a condition of planning. When they stripped the topsoil away that was a retention device to stop it flowing into the water course.
“There is a considerable fear among residents. The actual risk is difficult to quantify but after this very wet summer and the dangers at Whaley Bridge you can’t blame residents for being fearful.”
Traffic running past the site is meant to adhere to a 20mph limit, which in itself causes problems according to Coun Bolt.
He also criticised what he described as “the lack of co-ordination and control” relating to traffic works.
“We have two sets of temporary traffic lights within half a mile,” he said.
“That creates congestion, infuriates drivers and totally contradicts all Kirklees’ aspirations for climate control, pollution and traffic management. It’s been going on for six months. At times it’s been chaotic.
“The situation in Mirfield should be a warning for any community in Kirklees with regards to planning and development.
“This land has been changed and chipped away over the last decade, at times with the support of Kirklees but to the detriment of the local area.”
Coun Rob Walker, cabinet member for environment said: “We are aware of the concerns of local councillors regarding the development and the associated roadworks and are doing everything possible to minimise disruption.
“This includes scheduling works by different contractors to take place at the same time and, where possible, working at night and when the roads are quieter.
“All the works taking place are essential and will help to make sure that the development is delivered in line with planning conditions.”
Caddick Developments were approached for a comment.