Go-ahead for controversial Cleckheaton homes plan

The Kenmore, Cleckheaton, site which is now set to be developed into around 55 new homes
The Kenmore, Cleckheaton, site which is now set to be developed into around 55 new homes

A controversial homes scheme has been given to go-ahead despite remaining concerns from nearby residents and some councillors.

Kirklees Council’s Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-committee gave the green light to outline proposals by the council for building up to 55 homes and associated means of access at land off Kenmore Drive, Cleckheaton.

At the planning meeting a representative of Kenmore Field Residents Group, which represents 60 households, said the group accepted that the land was designated for housing but felt concerns involving highways and infrastructure had been far from adequately addressed.

Residents, supported by some councillors including Coun Andrew Pinnock, voiced serious concerns about the access routes to the site due to residents’ on-street parking.

Unsuitable access, parking, congestion and pedestrian safety were main issues with residents’ view being that the roads are unsuitable for HGVs or emregency vehicles.

More than 100 letters opposing the scheme have been received by the council.

Highways officers expressed the view that with care this was not insurmountable as an issue while not being ideal, and the road layout was common to similar estates.

The spokesman said: “We should have comprehensive reports, not unsubstantiated statements we are expected to accept without question” and urged rejection of the application.

Officers said they had fully assessed the proposals.

A spokesman for applicant Paul Kemp, of Kirklees Council, said the development would result in much-needed housing

In a letter to the committee Coun Kath Pinnock pointed out that of three separate proposals that had been submitted regarding the access a Kenmore Drive-only option had been regarded as unsuitable by highways officersx as the road, at 5.5 metres wide, was below the standard width of 6.1 metres .

A second proposal to have Kenmore Drive and Kenmore View as one-way traffic wsas not a workable option and quickly dismissed and the third proposal, using Kenmore Road and Kenmore Drive as two-way accesses, was equally flawed, she said. “Both roads are below the standard road width of 6.1 metres. Kenmore View is very narrow at 4.5 metres.

Both roads have on-street parking as not all of the houses have drives.

“Having dismissed the use of Kenmore Drive as a single access it is very surprising that it is being proposed again. Kenmore View is clearly not usable as a two-way access to the site,” she wrote.

Councillors voted to permit the application, with conditions.

These include payment of £221,657 towards education provision and around £108,000 as an off-site contribution to cover amenity loss, possibly to use at West End Park, which is within 720 metres of the site, or possibly Exchange Street.

Pressure on local amenities was a major concern for residents who also raised issues of loss of green space, loss of privacy and flood risk.