What now for housing plan?

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A controversial proposal for housing and job creation in our district has been thrown into chaos after a planning inspector raised concerns.

Kirklees Council’s Local Development Framework (LDF) was submitted for government approval in April.

The plans set out the areas which the council believes could accommodate 22,470 homes and 122 hectares for business use by 2028. But Kirklees could be forced to withdraw the LDF after initial critical feedback from an independent inspector.

Roland Punshon has yet to wade through the 7,279 formal objections to the plan, which includes development on greenbelt land near Roberttown and Hartshead.

But he said it was “not clear what, if any, co-operation” there had been with neighbouring authorities when drawing up the LDF.

He also raised questions about whether the number of homes proposed would meet demand and why the council wanted to use green belt land when other land was available.

In a letter to the council, he said those issues could stop the plan winning approval.

Last Friday, Kirklees Labour Party said the LDF had been withdrawn. But on Tuesday, the council said it was still looking at its options and the plan could only be withdrawn following a full council vote.

Spen MP Mike Wood said areas Kirklees had agreed should be protected from development would now have to be re-examined, adding: “The government’s hunger for more housing will have a direct impact on people in the Spen Valley.”