Fight is on to protect ‘last field’ earmarked for development

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition against plans to develop green space in Batley.
Over 3,000 people have signed a petition against plans to develop green space in Batley.

campaigners are fighting to save green space, which could be snapped up by developers for the building of 200 new homes.

More than 3,000 people have signed a petition to protect the land, off White Lee Road in Batley, which they say is “the only field” left in the area.

The land is identified as ‘urban green space’ in the Kirklees Local Plan, and would be protected from development, if the plan is approved by the government inspectorate next year.

But developer Hallam Land Management has submitted a planning application to Kirklees Council requesting to build housing on part of the space at Field Head Farm.

Clare Naughton, 42, of nearby Jail Road, launched the petition to fight the proposals.

She said: “We feel like they are trampling on both the council and the public to grab land while they can.

“It is literally the only field we have got left.

“It seems an insult to take the last bit away from us, especially when it is allocated as green space in the Local Plan.

“The council should be able to say ‘hands off’.”

Ms Naughton is urging people to comment on the plans. She said: “This field is a much utilised, much loved part of our community.”

Kirklees Council said it would take into account comments from residents when deciding on the application.

A spokesman said: “We cannot prevent applications being made. The council’s role is to fairly assess and consider each application on its planning merits. The draft Local Plan has only limited weight in deciding applications at this stage and this will remain the case until it is formally adopted.”

Hallam Land Management had been approached for comment but had not responded as we went to print.