Building 'imminent' on water meadow in Mirfield after boundary wall removed

Campaigners who fought and lost a battle to stop housing being built on an ancient floodplain in Mirfield say they fear construction work is “imminent” after a boundary wall was demolished.

By Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 3:00 pm

People living on Granny Lane say removing the wall has left the building site open to anyone to access, that the pavement is now unsafe – and that wildlife has strayed onto the road, which could be a risk to traffic.

A spokesperson for the Granny Lane Area Action Group (GLAAG), which, with Save Mirfield, spearheaded the fight to stop Wakefield-based Miller Homes from building 67 houses, said: “We have lost and lost again.

“We have been through all of this with the planning committee and the appeal. We are reconciled to that.

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

Members of Granny Lane Area Action Group (GLAAG) by meadowland in Hopton Bottom, near Mirfield, destined for housing

"But now there’s this new problem of the fields being left open to illegal vehicles such as trail bikes. There’s nothing to stop animals getting out and we think it’s a health and safety risk to pedestrians, road users and wildlife.”

Plans to build on the water meadow on Granny Lane were first approved in December 2019 but the matter was returned to committee after campaigners said the decision to green-light the scheme was based on inaccurate flood zone information.

It was consequently refused in February 2021 but that decision was overturned at appeal.

Now the wall separating the site from the road has been pulled down and the stone removed, leaving residents convinced that building work on the estate, to be called Applewood, will soon begin.

Speaking after a deer was photographed by the roadside, the GLAAG spokesperson said: “There’s now an open route for wildlife in the woods to make their way onto the highway.

"As well as being a risk to animals there’s concern that someone driving a car could be injured.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that an archaeological survey of the site has been carried out by West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service and that the outcome of its evaluation report will determine when building can start.