Mirfield protestors won’t give up battle of Bellway

Mirfield protestors won’t give up battle of Bellway

A PROTEST is to be held near the site of a controversial housing scheme in Mirfield later this month.

The demonstration, set for the weekend of Saturday May 17, will be close to Balderstone Hall fields off Hepworth Lane.

Developer Bellway Homes have submitted plans for 135 properties on land they originally targeted in 1999.

Back then there was also a march as residents successfully fought off the scheme at a public inquiry.

Keith Andrews, of Save Mirfield, said: “More than 900 people showed their opposition to those plans – and there’s been no change since.”

Bellway’s proposals are expected to show changes from drafts shown to residents at an exhibition earlier this year.

The original scheme for 136 homes has been reduced by one property to make way for extra car parking.

And an access road from Hepworth Lane has been axed, with cars entering from Wellhouse Lane and Woodward Court.

Mr Andrews said: “That they’ve changed their plans isn’t commendable, it just shows how wrong they’ve been.

“The whole thing should be scrapped. Anyone who proposes to put more traffic on Hepworth Lane hasn’t got a brain.

“In places there’s no pavement, and some drivers go past pedestrians, many of them children, in such as way as to force them up against the wall.

“They’re trying to build homes in an area that simply can’t take it. The impact would be immense.”

A £1.9m government grant means 50 of the 135 homes, 37 per cent of the total, will be ‘affordable’.

Bellway will also give cash to sports and education facilities and build a new car park for Crossley Fields junior school.

A company spokesman said: “The new houses will assist in providing much-needed family homes in a district which is not currently meeting demand.”

... and another demo is planned

HUNDREDS of new homes will cause the ‘annihilation’ of Mirfield, a campaigner warned.

Steve Benson, of opponents Project Mirfield, hit out over the impact three large housing schemes could have.

Ben Bailey Homes have already got permission for 34 homes on land off Kitson Hill Drive.

Another 135 are earmarked for Balderstone Hall Fields while 166 could be built as part of the Mirfield25 development.

Already packed schools and congested roads are made worse by the situation at Mirfield Health Centre, Mr Benson said.

“Sometimes there’s a two- to three-day waiting list before you can see your doctor,” he continued.

“Residents are already forced to travel out of Mirfield for medical help – by definition that’s not sustainable.”

More homes means extra pressure on stretched services and Mr Benson added: “The council are mismanaging our area. It’s now quite apparent Kirklees are hell-bent on annihilating our green open spaces.”

His group are now planning a demonstration, though the date and location are to be confirmed.

Mr Benson said: “We can’t promise to stop any development but we’ll give it our best shot.

“With the help and support of residents we’ll all try to shape the future of Mirfield for the better.”

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