Campaign group hits out against retirement village

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

revised plans for a retirement village in Ponderosa Park have been branded worse than original ones by campaigners.

Save Norristhorpe Green Belt campaign group says developer Howard Cook’s plans for a continuing care retirement community at Ponderosa – part of which falls in green belt land – are worse than a scheme which was turned down by Kirklees planners in May.

Spokeswoman Lisa Drake said: “This is a recycling of a failed proposal that is even worse than before. The previous application was poor but this new one proposes even more development in the green belt.

“This new residential development from Mr Cook is an attempt to re-package his previous failed scheme in a bid to make local residents think that the proposal has changed.”

But Ponderosa owner Howard Cook said the new plans proposed less development on green belt land – and a ‘phenomenal’ number of jobs would be created.

He said: “What we have said is factual. There is less building in the green belt. The site is smaller and the habitat is bigger and better.

“Job creation is phenomenal.’

The plans include 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.

The development turned down in May included 150 homes and a 40-bed nursing home with a shop, hairdressing salon, restaurant and surgery. They were rejected by councillors because part of the scheme was on green belt land.

Miss Drake said: “Residents and councillors were clear in their rejection of the earlier application and a clear message was sent to developers that green belt land in Norristhorpe is not up for grabs.”

She said the application form to Kirklees Council showed no new jobs would be created.

She added: “Residents previously united against this proposal which would concrete over green belt land, leaving future generations without the benefits of an ecological oasis the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust designated a ‘living landscape.’

“I hope residents will again campaign to protect Norristhorpe green belt.”

Mr Cook said people should contact Ponderosa to arrange a viewing of a DVD about the scheme.