New 43 home village gets the go-ahead

Howard Cook. (D536J425)
Howard Cook. (D536J425)
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The construction of a new village has been given the green light as part of a massive redevelopment of an area in Heckmondwike.

Businessman Howard Cook has received planning permission for 43 homes at Park Farm near his Ponderosa Rural Therapeutic Centre site.

He said: “It should be a spectacular.

“It’s all about redeveloping the valley and the whole thing will look very picturesque.

“It will connect communities and Heckmondwike to the nature reserve. We want a place where people want to live and feel better.

“The homes are for a varied collection of people, as you might have seen in an old farming village.

“We fought for this for a long time and I’m a lot more relaxed to be making some headway.

“We’re all working flat out and what we are trying to do is make a difference.”

The development is part of a broader revamp of the land around Ponderosa that Mr Cook has spent years working towards.

More paths and bridleways will be created or joined up, with some intended to reach as far as Ravensthorpe.

Money made from the development will go back into his projects that help people with learning difficulties on his site, which he considers to be the most important aspect of his work.

He said the wider scope was to make better use of green space for people to use and to connect the area.

The new village will tie into other developments currently taking place on the Ponderosa site, including the Dome Regeneration Project, which will turn an old sewage works into learning areas and green space, and a new building near the entrance to the site, which will house Mr Cook’s learning difficulties centre.

Work is expected to begin around April or May and will take around two or three years.