Do it our way, say ConDems

Rather than sacrificing green fields for building, local Tories and Lib Dems believe former industrial land should be used. The two parties have revealed alternatives to the Local Development Framework, with both identifying the Bradford Road corridor between Batley and Dewsbury for new schemes. The Lib Dems call these brownfield sites ‘business action zones’, in which they would offer planning and cash incentives. The Tory model calls them ‘enterprise action zones’. They would also ban the use of green belt. Instead, town centres would be prioritised as locations for living and new businesses, including offices, leisure and retail. The parties’ ideas are to be presented at a meeting of Kirklees Council in Huddersfield on Wednesday, when the LDF proposals will be debated. Lib Dem leader Coun Kath Pinnock said: “There are numerous disused industrial sites lying vacant. “The council needs to work creatively to attract businesses here. A package of support and financial incentives can help achieve this. “But we need to balance creating jobs with improving the environment and protecting greenfield and green belt land from development.” Tory leader Coun Robert Light said: “We do not consider the present LDF plan takes account of the views of local people. “It is also not supported by the evidence of land use need. In contrast, our plans use brownfield land to create jobs and housing.”

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