Multi-million pound homes plan edges closer for Rams

Multi-million pound homes plan edges closer for Rams

A MULTI-MILLION pound housing development in Dewsbury has moved a step closer, with a fresh public consultation exercise and a planning application expected in the next few weeks.

More than 200 homes could be built on land close to Dewsbury Rams’ Tetley’s Stadium on Owl Lane, with community and sports facilities also being constructed.

The latest plan revealed this week by developer Stirling Scotfield has been significantly revised since it was first unveiled in 2012, with feedback from local residents and officials reducing the number of homes and increasing the amount of public green space.

Housebuilder Harron Homes say they will submit a formal planning application to Kirklees within the next four weeks, and if permission is granted the firm hope to be on site by the summer.

As well as around 203 homes, the major development would consist of a floodlit 3G all-weather sports pitch, two MUGA (multi-use games area) sports pitches, a new 334-space car park for Tetley’s Stadium and a linear park extending along the whole western boundary consisting of new landscaping, tree planting and public footpaths, along with a fully landscaped public open space connected to the Greenway.

There was controversy last year as it was revealed that despite its industrial background the site was designated as green belt land and was not proposed for development.

But Kirklees councillors eventually backed a masterplan in principle after a political wrangle.

Much of the land was effectively handed to the Rams on a rent-free 999-year lease from Kirklees when the club moved to the site in 1993.

The development would mean ‘significant investment’ for the Rams, with the club set to receive a £234,000 cash payment and an additional £50,000 grant towards changing room improvements at the stadium.

The RL club will also get an annual income from the revenue generated by the commercial use of the community facilities.

A further payment of around £1.1m will be made to a new ‘Community Trust’ that will be operated by Kirklees Council for the benefit of the local community.

Dewsbury Rams chairman Mark Sawyer said: “We’re pleased it’s moving forward, as the club has been working to get more community facilities here for the last 15 years.

“It’s nice to see the plan is making progress, and that it’s been altered to take into account the wishes and needs of local residents and the whole community.”

A spokesman for Stirling Scotfield said: “We held an initial public consultation exercise in 2012 and as a result we have listened to the views of the local community and have revised and improved the plans.

“We are undertaking a further public consultation exercise next week and are hopeful of a positive response. We now have an agreement with both Kirklees Council and our residential partner Harron Homes to deliver a regeneration scheme on the Owl Lane site which will deliver a long-term, sustainable future for the rugby club and offer outstanding benefits to the local community.”

Nearby residents have received leaflets with information on the new plans, and public consultation meetings will take place next week at the following venues:

• Monday January 27: Heath Cottage Hotel, Wakefield Road, 6.30pm-8.30pm;

• Tuesday January 28: Dewsbury Rams Stadium, Owl Lane, 6.30pm-8.30pm;

• Wednesday January 29:  Dewsbury Town Hall, 10am-2pm.

The plans are also available to view at www.dewsburyramsdevelopment.co.uk.

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