Work starts on new homes site
DEMOLITION work has started on a former mill complex on Westgate to make way for over 200 new homes.
Workmen have moved onto the former Cellette site, in Cleckheaton, to clear the land in preparation for development in the near future.
It follows a long campaign by the town's Liberal Democrat councillors to put the derelict land to use for the good of the community.
A public exhibition was held last year that unveiled outline plans for a new housing complex that would feature of a variety of two and three-storey apartments and terraced housing.
Most recently, the site has also been a target for arsonists and in November a deliberate blaze gutted one of the larger industrial buildings.
Coun Andrew Pinnock said: "There have been many deliberate fires in the buildings over the last couple of years which have made the buildings very dangerous.
"Despite this, children and teenagers have been getting into the buildings and we were very concerned for their safety."
The site has also attracted anti-social behaviour over the last few years, angering local folk who live nearby.
Coun John Lawson added: "Local residents were angry that our lovely town was spoiled by this derelict site on one of the main roads into Cleckheaton."
Last week, Cleckheaton Fire Station manager Mark Hitchcock revealed that crews had been called out to fires near the site over a dozen times since March.
He said: "The temptation for children and young people to enter and explore these sites is one which worries me a lot. We don't want to see anyone injured, or worse."
During the past two years there have been well over 100 fires in derelict property around Cleckheaton and Hightown.
Councillors expect that full plans could be revealed later this month and it could go before Kirklees Council's planning chiefs later this year.