Will eco homes get green light

HOMES: The individual units.
HOMES: The individual units.

NEW plans for an eco retirement village have been lodged – just months after planners threw out a similar scheme from the same developer.

Howard Cook has applied to Kirklees Council to build a care retirement community in Ponderosa Park, with 145 one and two bed units, a 50-bed nursing home and a community hub with a store, post office, restaurant, cafe, village hall and bus stop.

In May plans for 150 homes and a 40-bed nursing home with a shop, hairdressing salon, restaurant and surgery were rejected by councillors because it would be built on green belt land.

People in Norristhorpe were furious at the plans and formed a campaign group, Save Norristhorpe Green Belt. They said green belt land should not be developed, wildlife would suffer and the care home would be visible from as far away as Mirfield.

Mr Cook said the new plan had been ‘significantly reduced’ to minimise impact on green belt.

He said: “We haven’t done this to fail. We have taken the planners’ advice over what they wanted to see and tried to address everything – the footpaths, the comments about the scheme being visible from Mirfield and the habitat in the area.

“We have tried to make it more acceptable. We have looked and listened, and taken those concerns into account. The units are far more detailed than they were before and there are less of them.

“There is a bowling green that anyone from Heckmondwike will be able to use, not just residents.”

He said the scheme was part of a wider plan for Ponderosa which included the therapeutic centre, the business park, the Able 2 project for disabled and disadvantaged young people, and the Dewsbury Domes, a tourist attraction which includes a fish farm, a floating cafe and a training centre.

He said the retirement village would provide jobs in its construction and after it was built.

He added: “We have created nearly 700 jobs with the Able 2 project and Dewsbury Domes.People want to retire into quality living and this retirement village provides that.”