LDF campaigners were misled, claims Lib Dem leader

LDF campaigners were misled, claims Lib Dem leader

CAMPAIGNERS trying to save green belt land across the area from developers were misled, a councillor claimed.

Lib Dem leader Kath Pinnock (Cleckheaton) lamented how anti-LDF groups appeared to have achieved the opposite of their aims.

She spoke out after Kirklees Council was told it needs thousands more new homes than it had already planned for.

Coun Pinnock, pictured left, blamed the Tories and said: “I’ve total respect for what the campaigners were trying to achieve.

“The people who are elected should take responsibility for misleading them into thinking green belt land could be protected.”

It relates to a now axed Government housing target which stated Kirklees needed 34,000 new homes.

The council arrived at its own 22,000 figure, with Coun Pinnock suggesting the Tories influenced this with claims about protecting green belt.

Government planning inspector Roland Punshon ruled he wants up to 34,000 new homes and less protection for green belt to fit them in.

Coun Pinnock said: “The campaigners were misled because the council didn’t have all the cards in its hand.

“You had to play a game of poker with the planning inspector to see what housing number you could get away with.”

She added it is likely the council’s draft LDF will be withdrawn as otherwise Mr Punchon could throw it out.

Coun Pinnock is unhappy with the current situation. And in a swipe at the Government Coun Pinnock said: “Why on earth do we even bother with local decision making?

“And what does the Government mean when it goes on about ‘localism’ when an unelected planning inspector can effectively overrule the council?”

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