We need better infrastructure to cope with plan, says campaigner

We need better infrastructure to cope with plan, says campaigner

NEW schools are needed to cope with the huge number of homes planned for Spen Valley, a campaigner has warned.

Graeme Raisbeck, who helped fight off developers in Cleckheaton, said Kirklees Council’s Local Plan may only work with the right infrastructure to support it.

He pointed out that 500 homes are proposed for the catchment area of Hightown JI&N School in Liversedge.

Mr Raisbeck said: “That, over 15 years, is at least another junior school and probably more likely two new schools required just in Hightown.

“It will be interesting to see the sustainability of this plan. The last time I looked, the country had no money for schools or hospitals.”

Some 321 new homes are planned for land between Laverhills and Quaker Lane in Hightown.

Another 107 will go on land south of Second Avenue on Windy Bank estate, plus others at locations including Headlands Farm and Primrose Lane.

Other major developments include 133 homes on land close to Whitechapel Primary School in Cleckheaton.

And 318 properties are proposed for the Merchant Fields at Hunsworth, near Chain Bar.

The scheme would be near a business park and the M62 slip road and Mr Raisbeck said: “Traffic and commuting looks set to worsen.

“There is an awful lot of proposed house-building going onto Spen Valley’s green fields.

“More encouraging is the inclusion of the brownfield sites off Westgate and Bradford Road.

“But how many of the houses will be affordable? Forty-year mortgages and a bias towards renting will soon be the norm.”


Town plots strategy

A MEETING in Mirfield will discuss the town’s own planning strategy.

Residents can find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan at the Salvation Army Hall on Monday, October 12 (7pm).

Driven by the town council, it will give some control over where any new housing schemes are built.

Mirfield will have to accept hundreds of new homes over the next 15 years under Kirklees Council’s Local Plan.

This includes 63 properties at Sheep Ings Farm, 60 on land between Flash Lane and Dunbottle Lane and 39 near Northorpe Lane.

And the 183 homes proposed for the Mirfield25 site off Leeds Road also feature.

Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Battyeford) said: “Under the Neighbourhood Plan we would be able to tweak where those homes go.”

The idea will ultimately go to a referendum and Coun Bolt said: “There's a contradiction here.

“This smaller policy needs support from residents but the over-arching one from Kirklees only has to be validated by the cabinet.

“Yet the proposals in the Local Plan will affect communities not just now but for future generations.

“Mirfield25 was passed in 1998 and yet it’s still having an effect. And you wonder what the long-term implications will be of the Bradley new town.

“We know we already get people from that area coming into Mirfield for our schools.”

“I imagine the consultation will be focused over there and Mirfield won’t get a contribution towards education.”

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