New homes plan sparks traffic fears

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CAMPAIGNERS are renewing their fight to save a field in White Lee from developers.

Great Lime Holdings have submitted a new plan to Kirklees to build 42 homes on the land near Riding Street in White Lee.

The proposal is slightly different to one the company lodged in November, for 43 homes.

However objectors say the problems with access remain, and if the plan went ahead it would cause chaos on an already traffic-choked main road.

Elaine Din, who has lived in Riding Street for more than 30 years, said residents only received letters informing them about the new application on Saturday – and they only had until February 9 to object.

“I was also told that the application would be going before the Heavy Woollen planning committee on February 16,” she said.

“We feel we’re being rail-roaded into this, there’s so little time to get objections in. Why is it being rushed?”

Mrs Din has contacted Coun David Sheard who said he and his fellow Labour ward councillors agreed that the decision should be delayed to allow objections to be submitted, and that he had requested that it be deferred by the committee.

The site has a history of planning applications – in 1988 the council rejected a proposal to build just three houses there.

Mrs Din said: “Nothing has changed since 1988. The access to the site is still the same, so we can’t see how on earth they can put an application in for 42 houses. They said it was a dangerous exit then, so how has it changed now?

“Since 1988 the traffic on White Lee Road has probably doubled and we now also have Fairfield School across the road.

“It is so bad sometimes that we cannot even turn right out of Riding Street, we have to turn left.

“We don’t need any more cars on White Lee, which has just had a digital speed sign installed to try and slow traffic down.

“Our other argument is that this is one of the nicest spots left in the White Lee area. We can see all across the valley and that’s why people never leave Riding Street.

“There are so many brownfield sites, why don’t they use those instead?

“The new layout of the plans also show that there will be a road running parallel to Riding Street – between our street at Armitage’s Tool Hire – at the bottom of people’s gardens.”

Mrs Din said that the 1988 report also said there were no adequate sewerage facilities in and near the site for the disposal of water drainage.”

Speaking after the plans were first lodged in 2010, Coun Sheard said: “Physically, I don’t think anything has changed since 1988. The mill is still there and the roads are still the same. The issue is how safe it is to come out of the junction, how close it is to Riding Street and the sight lines.