Green light for housing developments in Mirfield, Batley and Gomersal

House-building in Kirklees is progressing apace as the borough nears the first anniversary of the adoption of its controversial Local Plan.

By Tony Earnshaw - Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 9th January 2020, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 3:52 pm

An order from the Government, the Local Plan will see tens of thousands of new homes built in the borough by 2031.

It was adopted by the Labour-led authority in February 2019.

And over the last 11 months planners on Kirklees Council have approved the construction of hundreds of homes.

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housing developments have been given the go-ahead in north Kirklees

Many will have to be built within the green belt, as there is insufficient non-green belt land in the district.

The latest developments to receive the green light are in:

Gomersal (98 homes at Cliffe Road)

Batley (25 apartments within Thornpark House on Station Road)

Newsome (76 apartments within the former Newsome Mills on Ruth Street)

Mirfield (67 homes at Granny Lane)

All four schemes were approved at a meeting of the council’s Strategic Planning Committee on December 19.

However a proposal to build 71 houses at Lady Ann Road in Soothill, Batley, was refused.

Writing on social media campaigners in the Primrose Hill and Lady Ann Road Residents Against Development described the decision as “brilliant news”.

Councillor Andrew Cooper (Green, Newsome), who attended and spoke at the planning meeting described the Newsome Mills development as “an important step forward” in the revival of the site, which was gutted by fire in 2016.

Only the former textile mill’s clock tower remains standing.

Coun Cooper added: “The fact that outline planning approval has been granted is significant.

“It doesn’t mean that work will start tomorrow on the mill site. I believe we are still looking at a minimum of two years before work might commence.”

Disappointed people living near the Granny Lane site in Mirfield said councillors were “hell-bent” on driving through the plan, which will see homes built on an ancient floodplain.

Senior Kirklees councillor Carole Pattison said the authority was “strapped for housing” and that building houses on an area with a history of flooding was “worth the risk”.

Members of Granny Lane Area Action Group (GLAAG) are now considering whether to write to the Ombudsman to raise their concerns that evidence – such as a flood report from a drainage consultancy and a planning lawyer’s letter – were effectively “ignored”.