Time for your say on 29,000 homes development plan

Coun Peter McBride, Kirklees
Coun Peter McBride, Kirklees

It is time for the public to share their opinions about Kirklees Council’s plans to allocate space for homes and business.

Around 29,000 homes are being planned in the district until 2031 – 9,000 of which have already been built, given permission or are expected to be built on land not included in the new draft Local Plan.

From Monday, Kirklees residents have the chance to let the council know what they think about the propsals in that plan.

By law, all councils must create a long-term plan which sets out how much and where land can be developed to meet the needs of people and businesses. Once adopted, the Local Plan will govern how the council assesses all planning applications.

Coun Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Transportation, Skills, Jobs and Regional Affairs, said: “The real danger lies in not having a plan in place because it means we will not be able to control development and that will put our green spaces at risk.”

The plan prioritises development on green belt land at the expense of urban green areas – Kirklees itself is 70 per cent green belt and the proposals cover 1.7 per cent of that space.

Coun McBride said: “As important as the green belt is, the urban green space is equally important. Those pieces of green land in urban areas are vital, and in this plan we have managed to increase those areas.

“To make sure that we continue to grow and remain competitive, we need to do more to encourage successful employers to stay here, and attract new businesses and jobs to the area.”

In order to create the 32,000 jobs the plan states the district needs, 110 hectares of land suitable for businesses to use has already been identified and a further 155 hectares needs to be found.

The approach is to suggest large flat sites close to the motorways could attract to business, and where communities nearby could benefit from new jobs created.

Such new sites proposed are: land by the A653 at Chidswell; land by the A62 at Cooper Bridge; land by the A636 at Clayton West; land at North East Bierley and land by J26 of the M62 at Cleckheaton.

The public consultation lasts for six weeks, from November 9 to December 21.

Residents can view the consultation, register and comment at www.kirklees.gov.uk/localplan.

All comments will be taken into account before the council issues a revised draft of the Local Plan. There will be another consultation period to comment on the final version of it later in 2016. It will then be submitted for an independent government examination before being adopted by the council in early 2018.