Community fights to save ‘the last green field in Horbury’

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Plans to build more than 20 new homes on ‘the last green field in Horbury’ could be disastrous for the town, councillors have warned.

Developer Spawforths wants to build a new estate on land off Benton Hill.

It held at meeting in Horbury Academy on Tuesday night to talk to people about outline plans which are being submitted to Wakefield Council next month.

But people living in the area and councillors have said they would do everything they could to stop the fields being built on.

Coun Janet Holmes said: “The strength of feeling is huge among people in Horbury - we do not want the fields to be developed.

“The infrastructure would not allow it. Benton Hill is a nightmare as it is, between 8am and 9am it is chock-a-block from the top to the bottom with people trying to get to work.

“The children all walk up the hill to get to school and the pavement is very narrow - it’s very dangerous.

“To put more traffic on the road would be disastrous.”

Coun Holmes also argued that the town could not cope with more people.

She said: “The schools are at bursting point, they could not take more pupils.

“You can hardly get an appointment at the doctors’ surgery and the dentist already has a waiting list of more than 40 people.

“This is the last green field in Horbury and people are very worried about over-crowding.”

Spawforths is preparing the outline planning application on behalf of the landowner.

Mike Ashworth, principal planner, said: “The site sits in a residential area of Horbury and forms part of a recent allocation for housing development within the Wakefield Local Development Framework. The allocation of the site for housing was confirmed in September 2012 by the Council, and confirmed the removal of the site from the Green Belt to be identified for housing.

“The proposed application will seek outline planning permission for residential development and therefore at this stage will only set out details of the means of access, the broad scale of development and broad indications of the layout.

“Further details in terms of design would be reserved for a later application, likely to be submitted by a developer following the purchase of the site.”

A meeting to discuss the plans will be held at Horbury Working Mens Club, Cluntergate, on Tuesday, June 17, at 7pm.