Councillors vote on plan for homes

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A bid to build 54 homes on agricultural land in Lower Bacup has been unanimously rejected by councillors.

Redrow Homes Limited wanted to build the homes on fields bordering the Ashbourne estate on the Hightown/Cleckheaton border.

But the plans met with fierce opposition.

More than 150 people went to a public meeting last June to voice opposition, and 68 people wrote to Kirklees Council.

They opposed the principle of development and raised concerns about the impact on highways, grade II listed Lower Blacup Farm and the visual amenity of existing residents.

At yesterday’s meeting of the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee local residentSue Howard said the land was “part of the heart and lungs of the valley. It’s enjoyed in many guises. People that live adjacent agree that this is an area where green spaces are dwindling and there’s no need to take away any more.”

Representing the residents, Coun Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said the farm was one of the last buildings in the area with links to the Quakers and Luddites.

She said the town did not have vast swathes of countryside so keeping those fields was even more important.

Committee member Coun John Lawson (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said: “We’ve come across reason after reason as to why this can’t happen.”

The committee unanimously voted in favour of a planning officer recommendation to give them the authority to refuse the plans.