‘Open season’ for developers

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Mirfield town councillors and campaigners have warned it could be ‘open season’ for developers after a spate of proposed housing projects.

At a Mirfield Town Council meeting on Tuesday, a planning application for 34 homes at Kitson Hill Road was discussed before councillors spoke out against the developers’ and Kirklees Council’s lack of foresight.

Coun James Taylor said: “When you build houses, you have to think about how many places there are at local schools and doctors’ surgeries.

“If planning applications keep getting passed willy-nilly, it will be open season for developers, without proper planning for anything else.”

Mayor of Kirklees Coun Martyn Bolt added: “We need to bear in mind issues with sewers too – there is an outdated sewage network in Mirfield and this could add to the problem.”

It was also suggested that Bellway Homes – whose plans for 136 homes were put to a public consultation last week – would not be in keeping with Mirfield’s design statement.

The Save Mirfield campaign, revived last month to fight the proposed Bellway development, had a meeting this week to discuss the plans. One of the members suggested it would be “armageddon” for the school run should the development go ahead.

Head of the group Keith Andrews said: “If the Bellway plans get the go-ahead, it will be armageddon for people travelling to Wellhouse Lane School, and anyone with any sense would think ‘we can’t build these houses here’.”

The Save Mirfield campaign was originally set up to fight Bellway’s plans for homes at Northorpe Hall in 1998, and Mr Andrews maintained they would fight the developers’ latest plans for the site.

He said: “We are going to fight Bellway until there is nothing left of their planning application – no way are they going to turn the fields into bricks and mortar.

“Because there is now no LDF, it is now open season for developers.

“This seems to be the way developers operate – they just want to get their grubby hands on perfect land. It isn’t their countryside, it is ours.”

A decision is expected on the Kitson Hill Road site in the coming weeks.