Councillors pledge to fight greenbelt building in Chidswell

PROSPECTIVE and serving councillors vowed to fight any greenbelt development in Chidswell during a packed public meeting this week.

There was standing room only at Tuesday’s meeting to talk about the council’s Local Development Framework and what it could mean for people living in Dewsbury East.

The LDF is a plan for building homes and bringing jobs to Kirklees over the next 18 years.

It proposes to build 4,000 extra homes in Dewsbury and develop more than 30 hecatares near Chidswell for business use.

The plans are hugely unpopular with people living in the area, who took the chance to voice concerns at the meeting.

One man said: “Why are they diving into building houses? Why not look to old buildings? It’s nonsensical.”

Others were concerned about industrial use of land, increased traffic and loss of green space.

Another criticised the lack of information during a public consultation which has now closed.

He said: “I feel as though we don’t know enough. We don’t know exactly what the proposed boundaries are.”

A show of hands found just two people in a crowd of more than 150 had received a council leaflet about the plans. Kirklees has said the leaflets were delivered to 92 per cent of all homes.

A panel of local representatives all pledged to do what they could to stop the current LDF plans and secure a more public consultation.

They were Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell, Coun Cathy Scott (Lab), Coun Eric Firth (Lab), Coun Paul Kane (Lab) and prospective council candidates Mark Eastwood (Con), Dennis Hullock (Lib Dem) and Adrian Cruden (Green). Robert Bamforth of Kirklees Community Action Network also spoke.