Fears over future of land in Kirklees

A decision to build 53 homes in Cleckheaton will put more land across Kirklees at risk of development, a councillor has said.

Sunday, 5th January 2014, 9:00 am
Land under threat at Lower Blacup, Cleckheaton.

The controversial plan to build on farmland near the Grade II-listed Lower Blacup Farm was originally turned down by the Heavy Woollen Planning Committee in March, much to the delight of campaigners.

But developer Redrow appealed to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to overturn the decision, and the inspectors have now found in the developer’s favour.

Coun Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) has warned the decision could set a precedent for the Kirklees district and it leaves land vulnerable for development.

She said: “All three councillors were against the plans.

“We contacted Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell (Con) to ask that they put pressure on Eric Pickles in an effort to get Lower Blacup field called in but it never happened. To be frank, I cannot see any similar pieces of land in Kirklees being saved from development.”

Planning Inspector Clive Hughes criticised Kirklees Council for not having a long-term development plan in place, meaning there was a shortage of land set aside for housing.

He said: “The benefits of the development are relatively clear-cut. The site would provide a deliverable supply of much-needed land for housing in an area where there is no identified five-year supply.”