By Martin Shaw
PLANS for a hitech engineering plant in Mirfield have had a cautious welcome despite the loss of green fields.
The battle for Mirfield Moor was all but lost last year when outline planning permission was granted for industry.
Now Huddersfieldbased David Brown has launched public consultation on multimillion pound plans for a stateoftheart wind turbine plant on a 10acre site dubbed Mirfield 25, off the busy A62 Leeds Road.
The historic gears and tractor company, based at Lockwood Park, wants to move 270 of its 450 staff to Mirfield.
The firm will initially bring workers but hopes to create jobs in the longer term.
The planned move by the company was exclusively revealed by The Press back in January.
David Brown’s aim to be leaders in the field of ‘green’ energy and last year won a major contract to supply gearboxes for the Clipper, which at 175 metres was the largest wind turbine in the world.
Last week David Brown published its plans at a public consultation session at Christ the King Church in Mirfield.
Coun David Pinder, chairman of Mirfield Town Council’s planning, environment and development committee, said on balance it appeared most people were in favour of the plans.
He said there were concerns over the loss of green fields and there would always be people who wanted no development – but that battle over planning had already been lost.
“The principle for industry has been established so it is better that a trusted company that’s relatively local moves in than a Toys R Us or similar warehouse with very few jobs.
“In fact David Brown’s are also leaders in their field and 30 per cent of their work is in defence making gearboxes for tanks and Royal Navy submarines.
“In that respect it is a feather in Mirfield’s cap.”
Concerns have also been expressed over the impact on the trafficchoked A62 from Cooper Bridge but it is understood the firm will pay for road widening and cycle routes.
The firm also has detailed plans to deal with drainage on the site. Many local residents have pumps in their homes to cope with water run off.
Brown WelcomeFriday 19th August 2011
By Martin Shaw