New homes would cause chaos, say councillors

TRAFFIC TROUBLE Councillors Martyn Bolt and Vivien Lees-Hamilton by the proposed Cooper Bridge development.
TRAFFIC TROUBLE Councillors Martyn Bolt and Vivien Lees-Hamilton by the proposed Cooper Bridge development.

Proposals to build to hundreds of houses on one side of Mirfield and large industrial units on the other could create traffic chaos in the town, according to councillors.

Kirklees Council has proposed as part of its Local Plan – a 15-year scheme on the development of housing and industry across the area – more than 2,000 homes to be built near Ravensthorpe and industrial units by the A62 at Cooper Bridge.

Mayor of Mirfield Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton (Con) said the combination of the two developments would leave Mirfield sandwiched in the middle and create traffic chaos when commuters travel through the town centre to get to work.

She said: “When the Victorians built mills the workers would live in houses a 10 minute walk away. We should learn from the past and clearly they have not – this will sandwich Mirfield right between the houses and the industry.

“It will put such a burden on every resident of Mirfield.”

Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) said: “What you would get is a hosepipe effect in the middle of these two developments – it would be gridlock in Mirfield. It’s already at 110 per cent capacity.”

The plans have also been criticised by Spen Valley Civic Society secretary Erica Amende who said North Kirklees will have to take more than its fair share of industrial developments on its remaining green land.

She said: “Despite the enormous wave of protest about this proposal in 2012-2013, Kirklees is dead set on carving up North Kirklees’ precious Green Belt and plonking large tin sheds on a hillside which will be visible for miles.

“If you look at the maps for proposed economic development in Kirklees for the next 20 years, you’ll note that all the big ones lie in North Kirklees.

“People are asking why should Huddersfield and South Kirklees not take their share?”

Council leader David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) said: “They have to look at the whole plan – it is not just about Mirfield. And if they want to make a comment they can make a comment, that is what the consultation is about.”

A meeting will be hosted by Mirfield councillors at St Paul’s Church on Wednesday December 16, 3pm-8pm, about the Local Plan.