Response to plans for thousands of new homes

THERE are fears over proposals to build thousands of homes in Dewsbury.

The latest draft of the town’s local development framework outlines a plan to put up nearly 6,500 houses and 35 hectares of business space in Dewsbury by 2028. It is hoped to create 4,000 jobs, including 2,500 office jobs in the town centre.

The blueprint was presented and discussed at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s town and valley committee for Dewsbury.

Jacqui Gedman, of the council, told the meeting that the current plan pulled together the best elements of four different proposals that were suggested to Kirklees residents in 2009.

But Residents of Dewsbury South, where more than 4,000 new houses could be built, were worried about the pressure this would put on local infrastructure.

Marlene Chambers, who helped found the community centre in Thornhill Lees, said: “This is a tremendous load to put on a small area. How on earth is the school going to cope? What about the doctor’s surgery?”

Councillors Salim Patel and Khizar Iqbal supported the development in principle, but shared concerns about its scale. But council housing officer Alan Seasman said local services would have to cope with a growing population, whether or not new houses are built.

Residents in Dewsbury East discussed a 35 hectare business site in Chidswell. But Coun Eric Firth said: “It’s not going to happen tomorrow. This is the first stage of a long consultation.”

Dewsbury Chamber of Trade president Trish Makepeace took part in the Dewsbury West discussion and also had concerns about infrastructure.

She said: “In principle we know it’s got to happen. We would just like more detail.”

At another meeting in Roberttown on Friday, councillors voiced fears over a 50 hectare business site at Cooper Bridge, Mirfield.

• Mirfield plans will be discussed further on Wednesday at Huddersfield Town Hall, at 7.30pm.