Approval of plans for 63 homes would be ‘a farce’, says councillor

A MIRFIELD councillor has criticised a planning application for more than 60 homes on a site not allocated for residential use in Kirklees’ Local Plan.

Coun Martyn Bolt said it would be a “farce” if Kirklees allowed plans to develop 63 homes on land off Old Bank Road to go through.

Instead he has called on the council “to be really careful about what they are doing”.

A similar proposal to build the same number of homes on the 1.73-hectare site – previously used for dumping chemical waste – was thrown out last year.

Now developers Yorkshire Property Estates have resubmitted the plans to Kirklees but with little change to the ones that were knocked back.

There could still be 34 three-bed and 29 four-bed houses built, as well as an access road at the expense of two existing homes fronting onto Old Bank Road.

Coun Bolt said: “There’s very little difference (to the previous planning application).

“People are still seeing a high intensity of housing on a small site, knocking down some of the terraced houses so that the people either side of the entrance will live at the side of the road. One of the crucial things is we’ve gone through the pain of the Local Plan and this is not land allocated in the Local Plan.

“We were told when Labour put forward the debate that the land plan would give surety of development for the next generation.

“If Kirklees are still allowing developers to come forward and put planning applications in for unallocated land then again it questions the liberty of the Local Plan.”

The planning blueprint for Kirklees was given the green light at a chaotic council meeting in February.

An order from the government, it includes 31,000 homes, many of which will have to be built within the green belt as there is insufficient non-green belt land in the borough.

Coun Bolt added: “If Kirklees allow this to progress then it shows just how false (council leader) Shabir Pandor’s promises were that the Local Plan would see some surety for Kirklees. 

“If developers are allowed to progress sites not in the land plan before the ink is dry on it, then it shows what a farce it is.”

The comment period for the application ends on Saturday, May 11.

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