Battle of Balderstone Fields – round three

Battle of Balderstone Fields – round three

MIRFIELD residents are getting ready to fight against new homes being built on green fields – for a third time.

Property developers Bellway Homes last week submitted another planning application to build 61 homes on Balderstone Hall Fields, off Wellhouse Lane.

In 2015, Bellway Homes pulled out of a plan to build 130 homes on the same land just moments before the council were due to consider it.

This came 16 years after the same company lost a public inquiry for a new-build estate on the same green space.

Now campaigners have until the end of December to send in objections to the plans that could see the homes built behind Crossley Fields Junior and Infant School, with an access road through the nearby Woodward Court cul-de-sac. Two community groups, Project Mirfield and Save Mirfield, are attempting to block the plan.

Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton (Con, Mirfield) said that “just about everyone in the area is against it”. 

She said: “It’s not that people are objecting to development, we know that we are going to have to have houses.

“It’s where the development goes and this one, due to traffic configuration, narrow lanes, schools, pedestrians, is just inappropriate. It’s not the right location for the development.

“It was defeated in 1999 for highway issues, in 2017 highways haven’t got any better.

“The population has expanded and the traffic with it, if it wasn’t safe in 1999 then I don’t see any positive changes that would make it safe in 2017. It’s just the wrong piece of land.”

There have been various complaints as to why campaigners and residents do not want the proposals to go ahead.

Mirfield Town councillor, and chairman of the Project Mirfield group, Steve Benson, highlighted the drainage system as another key issue.

The developers have proposed to use a sustainable urban drainage system, which Coun Benson says could cause surface water flooding and the flooding of existing houses.

“The drainage situation is appalling,” he said. “The existing properties that encircle that site are lower than the field. When they’re going to put water in the ground, there is a very high possibility that those existing properties are going to suffer.”

Mr Benson also said that the Town Council had backed his plans to provide cash for a campaign fund which could go towards hiring a planning lawyer, should they need one.

He has written a 52-page objection letter, on the drainage problems alone.

Coun Lees-Hamilton has also written an objection which highlights the traffic issues, as well as the danger to school children on the already busy and narrow Wellhouse Lane.

The public consultation ends on Friday December 29. People can have their say via the Kirklees website

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