Fight to save Cleckheaton land from development

ANGRY: Residents are expected to fight to save land at Lower Blacup Farm from development.
ANGRY: Residents are expected to fight to save land at Lower Blacup Farm from development.

PEOPLE in Cleckheaton ‘will die in a ditch’ to save a green hillside threatened by housing plans.

That’s the view of local councillor Kath Pinnock, who is spearheading opposition to a proposed development at Lower Blacup Farm.

“This scheme is outrageous,” said Coun Pinnock (Lib-Dem, Cleckheaton). “We must stop this in its tracks at all costs.”

She said the Redrow Homes scheme to build at least 100 houses on the land was premature, as the site is provisional open space.

“It is intended to be held in reserve for residential development but is not designated as such at the moment,” she said. “Other parts of the proposed site are green belt so it’s a no-no.”

Coun Pinnock, her husband and fellow councillor Andrew Pinnock, and helpers are spending the weekend distributing information about the proposals to people living in the area. This is ahead of a consultation meeting on Wednesday called by a planning firm representing Redrow.

“We will get the message out,” she said. “We are totally opposed to this plan. It is a bit of hillside and it’s lovely. People come from across the area to enjoy it.

“Residents are angry about the proposals and their view is they will die in a ditch to save that hillside. People need to go to the meeting on Wednesday and get all the details.”

There have also been fears that people have been kept in the dark as to what the proposals involve.

Without the prior information leaflet councillors are distributing, residents would have to wait until the day to see details and then fill in a comments sheet. Spen Valley Civic Society vice-chairman Gordon North said: “We haven’t seen the nuts and bolts of this. How can people properly take on board what is being proposed and come to a view?”

ID Planning of Leeds, acting on behalf of Redrow, says it wants to engage with the community and ward councillors before plans are submitted to Kirklees Council.

A spokeswoman said the firm had written to people living in the area giving details of the meeting, and said the event would be informal, with members of the development team available to answer questions.

She added: “We would welcome feedback.”

A spokesman for Redrow said: “We’re looking to submit a detailed planning application for new homes at Lower Blacup Farm in Cleckheaton and are in the early stages of preparing that application.

“We are keen to take account of the views of local people before finalising our masterplan and Wednes-day’s public consultation will be an opportunity for residents to view and comment on some of our ideas for the proposed development.”

The consultation takes place at the Whitcliffe Hotel, Prospect Road, Cleckheaton, on Wednesday June 27 from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.