A long-running and contentious plan to build 166 homes on a greenfield site in Mirfield looks set to be signed off by Kirklees Council.
If the mixed housing and industry development off Slipper Lane, which planning officers say should be approved, gets the green light it will bring to an end a 20-year campaign to save the land.
The final decision will be made by a seven-strong panel of councillors on Thursday (July 5).
Objectors say the development will lead to increased traffic on the already clogged A62 Leeds Road leading down to the Cooper Bridge junction. And the loss of a second entry into the site will only exacerbate traffic issues.
They have also raised concerns that local schools and GP surgeries will not be able to cope with rising population numbers.
Wetherby-based Caddick Developments are behind the latest application for warehousing. Taylor Wimpey will build the homes. Previously the 12-hectare (30 acre) parcel of land was earmarked for mixed industrial use and a hotel, and then a retirement village. The current scheme for warehousing and houses was given outline approval back in 2015.
Conservative Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt said he expected the plan to be finally approved and described it as a slap in the face for local residents who had expressed their opposition.
“The disappointment in the local area is that the developer has been allowed to change things – such as moving roads around – with no perceivable benefit. This is a case where it has gone through the planning process and residents have been worn down by attrition.”
And he criticised Kirklees Council for using what he described as “emotional blackmail” to exert pressure to back the plan.
“In 2006 the head of Kirklees planning told the committee that if they didn’t approve the outline then Fox’s Biscuits would leave Kirklees, yet their name wasn’t on the planning application.
“Subsequently it was David Brown’s that were going to move onto that site but we never saw any tangible evidence of that.
“If you put on the table that a major employer may leave if you do not approve the plan then that puts a lot of emotional blackmail on them.
“I expressed concern at the time because I felt that it corrupted the planning process. It did not inspire confidence.”
Caddick Developments Ltd were approached to comment.