'Get a grip' plea to council's leaders

COUNCIL chiefs need to get a grip on planning applications, a campaigner said after a protest in Mirfield last Sunday.

Keith Andrews, of the Save Mirfield group, claims the way major housing schemes are dealt with has got out of hand.

He spoke out following a demonstration in the town against three housing developments that attracted about 400 people.

Mr Andrews, of Greenside Road, wants council leader David Sheard and council chief executive Adrian Lythgo to get involved.

He said: "Officers, perhaps under pressure from a cabinet member or another councillor, seem to be doing things differently from how they would normally.

"The council leader is supposed to keep councillors in check and the chief executive is supposed to keep the officers in line.

"But they don't seem to be doing that, and so the whole thing has got into a bit of a mess."

The rally saw about 400 people march from Taylor Hall Lane to the Gilder Hall playing field for speeches.

Campaigners from Save Mirfield, Project Mirfield and the Lady Heton Action Group joined forces for a non-political event.

Among the speakers were Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell (Con) and Labour parliamentary candidate Paula Sherriff.

The route went past the sites of three proposed developments, including the Balderstone Fields.

Bellway Homes to build 135 properties, 50 of which are 'affordable'. The application is open to public comment until Monday June 2.

Leaflets handed out by Labour activists blamed the Government for leaving Mirfield vulnerable.

Mr Andrews said the situation is more to do with how Kirklees Council have lost control.

He said of the authority's failed Local Development Framework: "Ten years to do nothing is pretty lamentable."

On the leaflets he added: "We want to avoid this becoming a bunfight between political parties because it puts people off."

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