LDF: You have your say

concern: Councillors, council officers and members of the public discuss the LDF on one of the consultation tables at the meeting this week.
concern: Councillors, council officers and members of the public discuss the LDF on one of the consultation tables at the meeting this week.

COUNCILLORS and residents have slammed plans to fill fields bordering Roberttown and Hartshead with industrial units, with one concerned home owner asking, ‘where will it stop?’

Policy group manager for Kirklees Patrick Auterson told the Spen Valley Town and Valley Committee on Tuesday that the A62 – the road which runs from Leeds, through Spen and past Oldham – would have to be “opened up” to accommodate all the extra traffic from the planned 50 hectare industrial site.

The council is looking to create 3,500 more jobs in the area.

Mr Auterson said: “We have an opportunity to improve the A62 corridor and also put investment into public transport. There are improvement schemes that the council has been looking at for some time. Yes it means that more traffic will be generated, but it means we can get investment in there and it also provides us with space so we can look at different road layouts. If we open up the land on the north side of the A62 we can open it out.”

Roberttown resident Janine Toohey said the infrastructure would not be able to cope with an extra 3,000 cars on the road.

“We don’t want any more traffic, which is bound to include more HGVs, coming through our villages,” she said.

“There is no rail link and poor bus transport links. You’ve had 10 years to build the links and you have done nothing.

“The problem starts at Junction 27 and they queue all the way around.”

Coun Margaret Bates added: “A new gyratory at Cooper Bridge was costed at £20m-£30m.

“We would feel better if we had a plan to show how the traffic would flow. All there needs to be is an accident on the M62 and it is bumper to bumper. Add to this all the traffic from a 50 hectare industrial site and this will be a nightmare. Carbon emissions will be through the roof.”

John Laville, from Hartshead, said he had concerns about the consultation process.

“The council seems blinkered on the A62 corridor,” he said.

“We feel as if the decision has already been made. Where will it stop? We are worried it will stop at Hartshead and Roberttown. How can people object when they don’t know what they are objecting to? We were told we would all be getting these LDF booklets but hardly anyone has received them!”

Mr Auterson said the council was identifying suitable sites and officers would have more information about specific sites at the next stage of the process.

Mr Laville also raised the issue of the A644 which leads from Cooper Bridge to junction 25 of the M62.

“The A644 is a country lane which is jam packed with traffic at just about any time of the day. But it’s owned by Calderdale, not Kirklees,” he added.

Development control officer for Highways Steve Sampson said his team would be addressing the minor roads and they would have to wait to see how Calderdale Council responded to the consultation.

Others suggested areas in Denby Dale for development and said they would be ideal because of their close proximity to the M1.

l Your letters on the LDF – see page 18.