By Tony Earnshaw Local Democracy Reporter
ANTI-FLOOD campaigners in Mirfield have urged a rethink on a controversial housing scheme.
They say planning chiefs on Kirklees Council would earn residents’ respect, and not “lose face”, if they backtracked on approving a scheme for 67 homes at Granny Lane at Lower Hopton.
Members of the Granny Lane Area Action Group (GLAAG), which was formed to highlight historic flooding issues on the narrow road and nearby fields earmarked for building, have asked planners to take their decision back to committee for further discussion before a decision notice is issued.
They say councillors who voted to pass the plan were unaware that the entrance to the site is in Flood Zone 3, meaning the area has a high risk of flooding.
They believe that information “alters things dramatically.”
Their call comes as the area has been hit by more wet weather causing Valance Beck, which flows down to the River Calder, to overflow again into Hagg Lane.
A letter detailing the group’s concerns has been sent to Kirklees Council. The authority is understood to be considering its contents.
The Granny Lane site, which is close to the Calder, was allocated for housing as part of the council’s Local Plan.
Planners approved a scheme by Wakefield-based Miller Homes in December to build on the meadowland, which is an ancient floodplain.
In its letter GLAAG says Storms Ciara and Dennis had demonstrated the issues that residents brought to planners last year.
On one occasion an elderly woman had to be evacuated from her home due to being traumatised by the sheer speed of flood water approaching her property.
GLAAG says there are also implications for emergency access, illustrated when an ambulance had to be turned away from Granny Lane.
Their letter says: “If the final permission has not been granted, which to date it has not, it is then possible to consider reversing the decision to approve or to take it back to committee.
“No doubt the senior planners will say that this is not possible but it is if you feel like us that you would like a closer look at the plans in light of the recent flooding.”
Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton (Con, Mirfield) backed residents’ calls for a re-think.
“I would hope that they will rein back and that for once common sense will prevail. The decision to pass planning permission should never have been made.
“Members of the Strategic Planning Committee saw the land. They came to Lower Hopton. They might not have got off the bus but they saw pictures of the flooding.”