Hundreds fight LDF plan

SUPPORT: John Barraclough, Barbara and David Lumb and Sally Barraclough from KRHR with their objection letters.  (d503A245)
SUPPORT: John Barraclough, Barbara and David Lumb and Sally Barraclough from KRHR with their objection letters. (d503A245)

HUNDREDS of people have written to Kirklees Council to object against plans that would carve up swathes of green belt land.

People living in Roberttown and Hartshead have been making representations to the council over its plans to turn over 42 hectares of land near Cooper Bridge to industrial development.

John Barraclough, from Keep Roberttown and Hartshead Rural (KRHR) campaign group, said members had handed over 865 letters of objection, a 10-page report and a petition to Kirklees Council last Thursday.

He said: “I think officers were quite astonished there were so many letters.

“We were very proud to hand over that number of letters and we felt everybody had got behind us. The response far exceeded our expectations.

“We are not a heavily populated area but these letters came from Hartshead, Roberttown, Mirfield, Clifton and Cleckheaton and other surrounding areas.”

The plans are part of Kirklees Council’s controversial Local Development Framework, its scheme for housing and business development across the district over the next 15 years.

Kirklees Council has approved the LDF but it must be ratified by an independent planning inspector who will decide if it is sound.

The letters of objection will be passed to the inspector, who should take them into account when making a decision over the plans.

Members of Keep Roberttown and Hartshead Rural campaign group have been gathering support for their fight against the plans from people living nearby.

John said: “We have been told that the planning inspector will get these representations in January, and then the hearing is thought to be in May.

“We are just one of the many areas under consultation so it’s going to be a very long, drawn out process.

“We are feeling positive because we feel the collective arguments are more than enough to prove the plan is unsound – but it depends what the inspector takes from this and the guidelines they are given by government.

“We would like to thank everybody who has supported us and the many people who have helped to make it all happen.

“The message is loud and clear – the question is whether it is heard.”