Domes project set to begin after five years of delay

DEWSBURY DOMES Howard Cook at the sewage works site.
DEWSBURY DOMES Howard Cook at the sewage works site.

A community redevelopment project that has been years in the making is finally set to get off the ground.

The old sewage works, in Smithies Lane, Heckmondwike, could be redeveloped into domes and agricultural land if a planning application from Ponderosa Therapeutic Centre owner, Howard Cook, gets the thumbs up.

Mr Cook bought the land from Yorkshire Water and intends to bring the project to life where others have failed.

He said: “The difference this time is that I’ll do it and I’ll complete it. Several previous applications to develop the land have been turned down.

“Sometimes you’ve got to put your head above the parapet and that’s what I’m going to do.”

On the site three or four of the old filter beds would be turned into domes to be used for educational projects for schools and people with learning difficulties. The remainder of the land he said would be returned to nature and used as agricultural land.

The education projects Mr Cook hopes to provide range from joinery, to bricklaying, to dry stone wall building.

He said: “That work has inspired me for the last 30 years. The agricultural land will make a fantastic area out of an eyesore.”

He hopes construction work could start July or August and the scheme should take two years.

And Mr Cook said the project would not be over after construction finished. He said there will be further projects and wants to make the most of this site’s proximity to neighbouring woodland, nature reserve and Ponderosa.