Contentious Dewsbury housing plan approved by councillors
An estate of 55 houses will be built on four acres of fields off High Street in Hanging Heaton despite concerns over drainage, traffic levels and the removal of trees.
Councillors at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-Committee voted 4-3 with four abstentions to approve the scheme, which has proved unpopular with local people.
It means Castleford-based Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire now has the green light to create a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced homes on the land with access from Challenge Way.
Several members of council staff, representing planning, highways, environment health and legal services, gave advice on the application as well as an officer from the Lead Local Flood Authority – also Kirklees Council – on drainage and flooding.
They said concerns had been addressed.
That was challenged by both locals and Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood.
Residents said there had been “no investigation whatsoever” of underground streams believed to run under existing houses and into the proposed building site.
They described stated traffic movement figures as “ridiculous”, that surrounding roads were “at capacity” and that removing trees on Challenge Way to create access would destroy an acoustic barrier.
Mr Eastwood, who backed the residents’ stance, also highlighted a stand-off over the disputed ownership of a strip of land between existing houses and the fields.
He said that had not been adequately dealt with and called on the council to fund the cost of an independent survey to clarify where the boundary lay.
Some of those concerns were echoed by local councillors Cathy Scott (Lab) and Aleks Lukic (Ind), both representing Dewsbury East.
Coun Scott described the response over underground streams as “dismissive” and expressed disappointment that a traffic survey had been carried out during the middle of the week and apparently at the wrong location.
Meanwhile Lib Dems Andrew Pinnock and John Lawson (both Cleckheaton) said a small pocket of houses in a corner of the site was too close to a petrol station.
That was rejected by officers.