Developer withdraws plans for 71 homes in Batley

The developer behind plans to build 71 homes on former allotments in Batley has withdrawn its application from a committee before it could be discussed.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 1:00 pm
The proposed housing site on land between Lady Ann Road and Primrose Hill, Soothill, Batley

The scheme, earmarked for 8.6 acres of sloping land off Lady Ann Road at Soothill, had been recommended for refusal by planning officers with Kirklees Council on the grounds of insufficient information to prove it would meet housing needs.

Other concerns raised by staff in a report to the council’s strategic planning committee were that the proposed development would not provide adequate, usable outdoor space and play space for its residents, and would not “sufficiently mitigate its impacts” including in relation to education.

A question mark was also raised about biodiversity issues, flood risk and the loss of protected trees on the land. That prompted Castleford-based Noble Homes to withdraw its application.

The company first presented a scheme in 2016. It drew fierce criticism from locals who described the area as an “oasis of wildlife” that provided habitat for bats, water voles and great crested newts.

Noble Homes describes the site as open grassland which was used as allotments until the 1970s.

It has previously expressed frustration that continued delays have meant “hundreds of potential purchasers” have been stuck on a waiting list.

Various versions of the plan have been put forward ranging from 94 homes to the current number of 71.

However planning staff previously said plans lacked cohesion.

Applications for the same parcel of land were refused in 2018 and 2020.