Loss of green belt not a price worth paying

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People who wonder why the majority of the electorate just don’t bother to vote, this week got an answer: it makes no difference. Once in office our politicians treat us with contempt.

I refer to the decision by Kirklees councillors to allow the development of an industrial complex, the size of two ‘White Rose Shopping Centres’ in green fields between Hartshead and Cooper Bridge, despite overwhelming public objection.

Councillors are supposed to represent the views of their constituents, but this decision rides roughshod over the majority view that green belt land should be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.

I have no idea what motivates our councillors to rape our countryside and destroy the very thing that makes the area attractive to new residents and businesses in the first place. Their arguments are at best misguided and at worst plain stupid.

Coun Nicola Turner says that some of our old buildings are “cold, draughty and frequently leak”. Does she not know leaks can be repaired or entire sites can be cleared and rebuilt? What will be her proposal when these new buildings become leaky and draughty – that we abandon them and bulldoze more fields and woodland to start again?

I run a company from a business park in Bradley, and since the park was opened over six years ago it has never been 100 per cent occupied. Currently about half the buildings are empty and there are still unused plots of land.

And don’t be fooled by any assurances that the new development will be green and sustainable and environmentally friendly – our business park was promised cycle shelters and regular public transport, but the cycle shelters were never built and the bus service was cancelled within months, so everyone now travels by car. The majority of this green belt will end up as a concrete car park, while our local town centres go into terminal decline.

Coun Pinnock says that building on green belt is a “price worth paying”. Please come and explain that to my children when they are putting on their wellies for a Sunday afternoon walk round the industrial estate.

ANDREW BARRETT

Hartshead Lane,

LIVERSEDGE