Gigantic housing plan would be “a disaster” for Dewsbury, says MP

A gigantic proposed new housing development, which would see more than 1,500 homes built on farmland at Chidswell near Dewsbury, has been described as “a disaster” by the local MP.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 8:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 8:54 pm

Mark Eastwood said such a large development “would change the landscape and the face of the area irreparably” and that the nature of the decision to release the area from the Green Belt was “wrought with concern”.

He called for it to be rejected outright.

Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee will hear an outline planning application for the scheme at its meeting on November 17.

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Chidswell in Dewsbury

The mixed-use scheme by C C Projects on a 296-acre site will include up to 1,354 homes, a new primary school and “employment development” set to create 2,500 jobs.

A second separate application for 181 homes on land off Heybeck Lane sits alongside the bigger development.

The main site off Leeds Road forms part of the council’s Local Plan. To enable the massive new estate some existing homes will be demolished to create access roads into the site.

The plan received more than 700 objections from the public. Only four representations were in support.

Among the concerns raised were loss of green belt land, the risk of urban sprawl, the impact on local character from such a huge development, fear of road accidents, the “importing” of jobs that would not benefit the locality, and that existing homes should not be demolished to create access.

Councillor Aleks Lukic (Dewsbury Borough Independents, Dewsbury East) said the plan represented over-development and that it was not sustainable.

He added: “It is obvious to anyone who lives or works in this area that Dewsbury and North Kirklees are already developed beyond the capacity of local services and infrastructure.

“Instead of making our problems worse this council should be preserving the precious little countryside we have left.”

Mr Eastwood, who represents Dewsbury for the Conservatives, suggested that schools, GP practices and dental surgeries would be “overwhelmed” and the area would not be able to sustain thousands of extra cars on the road.

He said that the area “should never have been released” from the Green Belt for consideration.

He added: “Both planning applications share the same pitfalls. The threats to ecology, quality of life and health are daunting. The nature of the decision to release the area from the Green Belt is also wrought with concern.

“As a whole, the proposals amount to various breaches of the National Planning Policy Framework and ought to be rejected outright.”