Fears over traffic in A62 plans

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A MAJOR Kirklees firms is one step closer to setting up shop on green fields on Spen’s doorstep.

On Monday, councillors on the Heavy Woollen planning committee recommended that gear manufacturing firm David Brown be allowed to build a 10 acre business development on Mirfield Moor.

But concerns about the plan to build on the site off Leeds Road were raised by members of the public at the meeting where the recommendation was made.

Nicola Musgrave said building on Mirfield Moor would pose a flood risk for surrounding homes, while Mayor of Mirfield Coun Pat Sutcliffe was worried about traffic caused by the 270 members of staff who would move from David Brown’s current base in Lockwood.

The company was also criticised for reducing a 30m buffer zone around the site, agreed in an earlier application, to 10m.

Coun Khizar Iqbal (Con, Dews South) said: “There is a significant difference between 30m and 10m, and that would impact on neighbouring residential areas.”

But councillors voted nine to four in favour of recommending that the planning and highways committee approve David Brown’s application in January.

David Brown’s application includes plans to build 6m tall acoustic walls on top of mounds towards Taylor Hall Lane.

It also includes plans to spend £35,000 on road safety improvements in Roberttown, £60,000 on improving Sunny Bank Road, Greenside Road and Slipper Lane in Mirfield, and improve cycling and pedestrian facilities on the A62.

Mirfield town councillor David Pinder said Kirklees would need to help fund the roadworks for them to go ahead and that it was not clear where this money would come from.

However after the meeting Coun Martyn Bolt told the Guardian he had grave concerns about the impact the application would have on the Spen Valley, and on Roberttown in particular.

“Changes to the traffic system at the Fountain traffic lights would mean that people travelling on the A62 towards Huddersfield would no longer be able to turn right on to Child Lane,” he said.

“Similarly you won’t be able to turn left from Child Lane to go towards Heckmondwike.

“People will have a circuitous route to get into the village, and if they are going to have to go on Roberttown Lane instead they will be passing Spen Valley Sports College, the Pied Piper Nursery and Roberttown Lane pre-school. I’ve always been concerned about rat-runs.

“And it’s not only people wanting to get into Roberttown village. If you are coming from Huddersfield and want to turn right into Mirfield, it will have its own right-turn filter at which point all other traffic stops, delaying traffic and causing more tailbacks.”