Group will fight to the very end to stop homes plan

A Chidswell protest.

A Chidswell protest.

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aN Action group says it will fight to the very end to protect farm and woodland from being developed. 
Chidswell Action Group is campaigning against proposals to build 1,500 homes, a school and employment space in the area, as part of the Kirklees Local Plan.

A second consultation on the plan, which allocates development land in the district over the next 15 years, is underway, before the proposal is submitted to the government’s Planning Inspectorate next Spring. And campaigners have begun raising funds to appoint a planning lawyer to legally oppose it.

Group spokesman Mark Eastwood said: “We would like to thank local residents who turned out in their numbers at our weekly street stall at the Babes in the Wood traffic lights to make donations and to enquire as to how they can object to the council’s Local Plan.

“Their contributions have gone a long way to enabling us to present our case to the Planning Inspector, with the aid and expertise of a professional planning lawyer.

“We believe this will give us the best chance of defeating Kirklees Council in their attempts to allocate large swathes of green belt and farmland for development in the area.”

The group’s concerns include the loss of green space, damage to the wildlife and environment and a “lack of infrastructure” to support the homes.

Morley town councillor Jim Aveyard said: “The plundering of this last remaining green belt land between Leeds and Dewsbury is unacceptable.

“There may be a new primary school shown on the proposed development plan, but the fact that primary school children move up to secondary school has been completely ignored.

“The local secondary schools are full to bursting. These proposals are not sustainable.”

Kirklees Council said the plan sets out how it will manage development across the district. It said: “We want business to thrive, and create the jobs which will boost our economy, so that our residents have the best opportunity to lead prosperous and healthy lives.

“At the same time, we want to make sure that we have enough homes in the district so that people can choose where they want to live, and have a home which suits their lifestyle.”