Bellway buy-out plan to keep Balderstone

OFFICIALS in Mirfield are preparing to approach Bellway Homes in a bid to buy the controversial Balderstone Hall Fields site and preserve it for the community.

Mirfield Town Council this week agreed to contact Bellway to sound out whether the Newcastle-based housing developer would be interested in selling the land.

Last month the latest scheme to build 61 homes on the green fields off Woodward Court was rejected by Kirklees Council.

Despite the plans being recommended for approval by planning officers, six members of the strategic planning committee voted to refuse it, while one abstained.

The principal reason for refusal was on highways grounds, but the site is also riddled with former mine workings and drainage issues have been a long-standing concern.

Campaigners have fought a two-decade battle to preserve the site, and in a move designed to stave off the bulldozers permanently Coun Martyn Bolt put forward a motion at the town council meeting to express interest in buying the site and enacting a ‘community use’ covenant to protect it. 

Fellow town councillors backed the move and Coun Bolt said: “If Bellway say no, they won’t sell it, that would be a good indicator of their plans. 

“If they respond positively then we could begin to discuss how the sale could be funded – either through the town council or other public sources.”

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