“Bizarre” plan to build houses on toxic Mirfield waste dump is thrown out
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Horsforth-based Yorkshire Property Estates Ltd had asked for its application to build 63 homes on a filled-in former quarry off Old Bank Lane to be deferred.
But Kirklees Council’s seven-member Strategic Planning Committee voted unanimously to refuse the scheme instead.
Builders wanted to create an access road to the site by bulldozing three terraced houses on Old Bank Road.
That was described as “a bit bizarre” by one councillor.
But the main argument against building was made made by Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt, who said it was “stupid” to consider digging up land that had been contaminated over many years, including with spent industrial and chemical waste.
He said the “dangerous site” should be kept out of building “in perpetuity”.
He added: “You stick a spade in that ground and you don’t know what’s going to come up.
“The legacy of the historic use of this site means that it’s totally unsuitable for development.”
Committee chair Coun Steve Hall (Lab, Heckmondwike) agreed that nothing warranted a deferral, adding: “It’s the same old problem time and time and time again.”
A 2016 report said the land was mined between 1918 and 1922 and subsequently filled in between the 1950s and 1993.
It said up until 1978 the dumping of waste was “uncontrolled” and included industrial chemical waste from Mirvale Chemical Works, which made creosote and agricultural chemicals.
Mirvale Chemical Works, on Steanard Lane, is now Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.