Objectors hit out as new Dewsbury housing estate set to get go-ahead

People living near fields earmarked for a new housing estate fear their concerns over flooding, noise and increased traffic have been treated as an irrelevance.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 7:00 am
An aerial view of land off High Street and Challenge Way in Hanging Heaton, which is destined to become a housing estate. (Image: Google

Laura Shaw and neighbours living on High Street in Hanging Heaton have objected to plans to build 55 homes on four acres of fields between their houses and the B6128 Challenge Way.

Castleford-based Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire aims to build a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced homes on the land with access from Challenge Way.

The scheme, which was deferred in October by a planning committee, will return this week.

It has been recommended for approval as all issues have been addressed.

That decision has frustrated Laura and others who believe their concerns have been overlooked.

She said the officer’s report to the meeting was published five days before the end of a consultation period, which she said showed “blatant disregard” for local views.

She said: “It is clear the concerns of the local residents have not been properly addressed at all. Despite having lived here a number of years I feel my knowledge and views on this are being treated as totally irrelevant.

“It feels like there is a desperation for this development to be pushed through the process and approved as quickly as possible.

“Just because land has been allocated for development does not mean that any housing should be accepted at any cost.”

She and other residents have been backed by Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood.

He said: “Public consultations are vital for people to share their views, and those views should be fully fed into the process and fully considered before any recommendation is made.

“Any attempt to do otherwise gives concern to people feeling their views do not matter as decisions have already been predetermined.”

Laura said local knowledge of subterranean streams flowing under homes and into the proposed building site had not been investigated despite being repeatedly raised by residents.

And after objecting to a noise survey being conducted during lockdown, a new survey was carried out.

However Laura said the survey of noise from a local working men’s club had taken place on a “notoriously quiet” weekday evening with equipment placed behind a wall and removed the following morning.

She added: “Myself and the other residents watched this being carried out and the equipment was not placed where it was indicated on the map.

“It was placed behind the wall in the club car park on a Wednesday night.

“Firstly, this is a notoriously quiet night for the club and any issues with noise are on a weekend when regular functions take place.

“Had the developer spoken to the club, the management there would have been happy to recreate the conditions of a Saturday night function for them.

“Secondly, as the equipment was placed behind the wall, this was the furthest point away from Challenge Way and would not have picked up any of the road noise from there!”

A report to the council’s Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-Committee (Nov 25) says residents’ concerns had been “comprehensively addressed”.

A large underground storage tank will deal with flood water though the site is in a low-risk flood area.

Noise levels have been found to be satisfactory and vehicular access into the estate site are deemed acceptable.