Consultation on LDF plans

SPEN folk have six weeks to have their say on plans which could see acres of land swallowed up by industrial development.

Kirklees Council approved the Local Development Framework in March and now a new period of consultation has begun.

The proposals would release 42 hectares of land at the Three Nuns for industry - the equivalent of two White Rose centres or 12 football stadiums.

The land is some of Spen’s most treasured and historic countryside. It contains four areas of ancient woodland, an Anglican settlement and the ruins of Hartshead Hall which was the medieval manor house of the Flemming family.

It was also the meeting ground and the first part of the route the Luddites took when they attacked Cartwright’s Mill in 1812, and the whole site borders Kirklees Hall where Robin’s Hood grave is situated.

Also at risk is 10 acres of land in Cleckheaton, probably at Chain Bar, and 15 acres classed as Birstall, but probably at Muffit Lane bordering Gomersal and Heckmondwike.

The LDF also makes provision for 2,900 new homes in Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike, Birstall and Mirfield.

People now have until November 2 to comment on the LDF before it goes to an independent planning inspector, who will decide which matters raised will be considered at a public examination next summer.

Comments should be made against four tests of soundness laid out by government and available on the council website

Those who feel earlier comments have not been taken into account must make them again at this stage to be considered by the inspector.

A copy of the core strategy and the supporting evidence is available online or at various locations around the district, visit

Spen Valley Civic Society chairman Max Rathmell said at their meeting on Thursday that the implications of the Three Nuns development were ‘frightening’ and urged people to lodge their objections.