I WAS one of many who wrote to Kirklees several years ago objecting to industrial development behind the Three Nuns at Cooper Bridge.
The plans were abandoned in part due to public objection to development of greenbelt. Is Kirklees intent on reviving this proposal every few years until public opinion is battered into submission?
In the council’s Draft Proposals Consultation, at the top of the list of most quoted issues from Kirklees residents is “a desire to avoid using green belt land for development”
Despite this, the council is proposing to release 50 hectares of greenbelt land because it is unable to identify other sites in Kirklees that could deliver “an attractive and high quality setting, accessibility to strategic road network and access to skilled local workforce through public transport”
This argument doesn’t make sense. The features that make this location attractive will be destroyed by building industrial units on it. The most strategic road to this site is the A644 from the M62 at Brighouse, a single carriageway - outside Kirklees - and no amount of reconfiguring the roundabout will prevent the bottleneck of the route and the traffic chaos this brings.
Kirklees claims to have consulted with Natural England. Yet despite built-up areas around the A62 being designated as “green infrastructure”, this greenbelt land has not. This relatively small area of fields and woodland contains many public footpaths - including the Kirklees Way - and is the only area for miles where residents can enjoy green space without being overshadowed by housing and industry.
There are plenty of derelict industrial sites in Kirklees. If companies don’t find brownfield sites “attractive” the council should be improving them, not bulldozing fields and woodland. In another 20 years, the new sites will have become unattractive industrial areas and then they will be looking for more green fields to concrete over.
Kirklees council must listen to its residents and tax payers. They are our servants not our masters. Greenbelt land is there for a reason, and no development on any greenbelt should be considered until all other possible sites have been redeveloped and are fully occupied.