LDF plan is ‘size of 12 Galpharms’

GREEN belt land is set to be swallowed up by an industrial build the size of two White Rose Centres, says a campaigner.

Barbara Lumb, who is fighting against Kirklees Council’s plans to build on 42 hectares of green belt at Cooper Bridge, says people should be aware the area would be the equivalent of two White Rose centres, or 12 Huddersfield Town stadiums.

She said: “We now find ourselves in the very last phase of the period when the plans are to be considered. If accepted, this green belt land is earmarked for industrial development over 15 years.

“The rapidly declining economic outlook means that any valid information on which the decision to extract this green belt land from public benefit has to be re-assessed.

“National guidelines state that green belt land should only be utilised for industrial and housing development as a last resort.

“All concerned North Kirklees voters should ensure that their local councillors are aware of their objections to this planning proposal.”

The proposals are part of Kirklees Council’s Local Development Framework, which outlines how it would bring thousands of new jobs and homes to the district by 2028.

Growing public anger at the plans across the whole of Kirklees has persuaded three major parties to call for an urgent rethink.

This week, the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Labour Party set out their own, alternative plans.

The Tories said they would use no green belt land for development at all, and the number of new houses being planned for Kirklees should be reduced from 25,400 to 18,000.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats called for more land previously used for industry to be redeveloped.

And in both parties’ plans, the ‘mill mile’ between Batley and Dewsbury would be turned into a zone for new businesses.

In Labour group plans, the number of homes being planned for Kirklees has been reduced by 2,930 and the number of new jobs being planned has been cut by 1,500.

The council will agree a set of plans at its next meeting on Wednesday at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Council leader Mehboob Khan (Lab, Greenhead) said the council’s scheme had taken into account people’s views.

He said: “We have listened to views from members of the public, interest groups, employers and developers to come up with a proposal that we think reflects our future needs around jobs and homes, but which is realistic and deliverable and takes care to maintain the attractive character of Kirklees.”