Huge housing development in Dewsbury coming up for debate

Some of the campaigners against the Chidswell development
Some of the campaigners against the Chidswell development

A massive 1,500-home housing development that could take up to 20 years to create is coming up for debate.

The 296-acre site, off Leeds Road at Chidswell in Dewsbury, is a flagship scheme within Kirklees Council’s Local Plan, which was approved earlier this year.

A pre-application enquiry, covering 1,534 two to five-bedroom houses, care homes and a two-form entry primary school, will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s Strategic Planning Committee tomorrow.

The plan also includes an 86-acre parcel of employment land providing 2,500 jobs on 122,500sqm of floorspace.

Two applications for outline planning permission are expected later this year – one for the larger part of the site and one for approximately 180 dwellings at the north end of the site.

The beauty spot is owned by the Church of England’s Church Commissioners and has already proved to be controversial.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was last year petitioned by members of Chidswell Action Group (CAG) to intervene to stop the sale.

That invitation has now been extended to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

Now scores of residents have met with planning consultants WYG at two “emergency” sessions to press their case.

Mark Eastwood, chairman of CAG and the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Dewsbury, said: “A lot of anger has been generated by the Church’s plans to decimate what little bit of farmland and countryside we have left in the area just for pure profit.

“We find it astonishing that the Church are relentlessly pushing this development through, despite the opposition from residents on all sides of the proposed development site.”