Homes plans put under the spotlight

PLANS for thousands of homes across the district are being picked apart by campaigners.

Concerns have been raised about potential developments affecting Mirfield, Gomersal, Cleckheaton, Batley, Birstall and Birkenshaw.

In Mirfield it is claimed council chiefs are attempting to allocate new homes ‘under the radar’.

Some 4,000 properties are on the cards for land earmarked as Ravensthorpe but which also covers Savile Town and Thornhill Lees.

Coun Martyn Bolt (Con) said: “The western edge of this scheme borders Sands Lane at Mirfield.

“What the council seems to be doing is sneaking homes into Mirfield by the back door by calling it all Ravensthorpe.”

He has asked officials to check where the border is and found nearly a sixth of the land is in Mirfield.

It could take up to 571 homes and Coun Bolt said: “There's no way we will accept a doubling of the amount of housing Mirfield is expected to take.”

In Batley there is concern about the loss of allotments bordering Woodlands Road and Wilton Park.

Kirklees Council’s draft Local Plan shows 40 homes for land known as Little Wood.

Resident Yvonne Ford called the authority and claimed she was told there is a waiting-list for the allotments.

In Cleckheaton traffic caused by industrial and housing schemes near Chain Bar is considered a problem.

Coun Andrew Pinnock (Lib Dem) said: “The thing that’s been needed all along is a slip road from the M62 to M606.

“That should’ve been done in the first place, but it wasn’t and doing it now will cost an arm and a leg.” Proposals across Birstall and Birkenshaw, including a travellers’ site, have been criticised.

And in Gomersal the loss of green belt land adjacent to Cliffe Lane and Ferrand Lane is a focus for campaigners.

Coun Lisa Holmes (Con) posted a reply she received from officers on the Gomersal Matters Facebook page for residents to see.

It said Ferrand Land would have to be brought up to adoptable standard, including potential road widening.

The statement added: “With regards to biodiversity both Natural England and West Yorkshire Ecology have raised no objections.

“The site is currently within the green belt but is contained by existing buildings on three sides and by Ferrand Lane to the north and would allow a new defendable green belt boundary.”


Building could spark ‘chaos’

QUESTIONS are being asked about the need to build hundreds of new homes in Birstall and Birkenshaw.

Among the proposed developments in Kirklees Council’s Local Plan is one for up to 224 houses on land off Mill Street in Birstall.

Other schemes include 70 homes for Raikes Lane, 31 near Highfield Drive, and 11 on Smithies Moor Lane. In Birkenshaw 47 homes are earmarked for the fire station site, while more than 200 are spread over separate sites around Whitehall Road.

Coun Andrew Palfreeman (Con) said: “There has clearly been no appreciation of the impact on our local roads. In Birkenshaw the A58 Whitehall Road faces capacity issues and these developments will throw Birkenshaw into traffic chaos.”

Public consultation on the draft Local Plan runs from Monday November 9 to Friday December 18.

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