By Tony Earnshaw Local Democracy Reporter
WORK is under way on the Mirfield 25 housing and warehouse scheme, which has been planned for more than 20 years.
As part of initial development on the site, off the A62 Leeds Road between Mirfield and Liversedge, traffic flow is to be reduced to 20mph for 31 weeks.
That will enable £3m of infrastructure work to get begin on the 15.4-acre site.
Campaigners who have fought the plans fear the speed limit will create rat runs through surrounding streets and particularly onto the A644 through Mirfield.
Mirfield Town Council has called for traffic monitoring in the area to audit numbers of vehicles and check whether motorists find their own diversions.
They have also raised concerns that the A62 is already a diversion route for the M62 and that a 50 per cent reduction in speed may have an impact on congestion and air quality.
Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) said the council initially put out a legal notice advising that the speed restriction was to assist with resurfacing works on the A62.
He added: “Further enquiries revealed it was not just road surfacing but to enable the developer of the controversial Mirfield 25 to make their entrance and widen the road.
“Kirklees say they won’t put up any speed cameras or carry out enforcement as clearly law-abiding drivers stick to speed limits.
“That’s nonsense. Why do we have speed cameras if highways officers say that most people drive within the speed limit?
“On that basis we should never need speed cameras. They are arguing against themselves.”
The site runs alongside Leeds Road with the commercial and housing elements separated by Taylor Hall Lane.
Caddick Developments will lead the development of the commercial site – to include seven commercial units – with sister company Caddick Civil Engineering carrying out infrastructure works.
Taylor Wimpey will build 160-plus homes ranging from two-bed to five-bed properties. They will include detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, with a single vehicle access from Leeds Road.
There will be a large area of public open space on the site, which already has a public right of way, and a landscape buffer, in particular between existing housing fronting Sunny Bank Road and Leeds Road, to soften the impact of the new properties.
A spokeswoman for Caddick Developments said the Mirfield 25 site represented “a considerable investment” in the area and will create employment space while also delivering many new homes.
Kirklees Council was approached to comment.