Hanging Heaton housing plan deferred due to flooding concerns

Waterlogged fields and a road that floods “like a river” were among the reasons councillors voted to defer plans for housing between Batley and Dewsbury.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 7:00 am
Land next to Hanging Heaton Working Men's Club and behind houses on High Street, where there are plans to build houses. Residents, from the left, Stephen Crossley, Sarah Gomersall and Derek Crossley are objecting to the plans

Local people fighting to stop 55 homes being built on four acres of fields off High Street and Challenge Way in Hanging Heaton also spoke out at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Heavy Woollen planning committee.

Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood was unable to attend due to a bereavement but sent a letter detailing his concerns.

In a strong show of support to residents who want the scheme thrown out, Coun Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) she said she was committed to supporting housing.

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However she said the Hanging Heaton development would be compromised by a range of problems.

They included drainage on the fields in question, underground streams, noise, busy local roads and regular flooding which, in one recent case, meant High Street “was like a river”.

She also raised a question over land ownership and, specifically, where a buffer zone ended.

That was highlighted by Mr Eastwood, who said residents’ deeds indicated ownership of a 1.8m strip of land within the development boundary.

His letter said: “If residents own this land it will invalidate this application as they have not received the legal notice required under planning law.

“I hope the committee will consider this as grounds for refusal or full investigation.”

Coun Aleks Lukic (Ind, Dewsbury East) said the area was “starved” of public open space and said it was “disappointing” that such a large site was not offering more.

He said his concerns over the impact of noise had not been adequately addressed and called for refusal or deferral.

Mother-of-two Laura Shaw, who spoke at the meeting, said afterwards: “For months we have been telling the planning officers about the flooding, traffic, noise and ecological concerns we have and we have been utterly ignored.

“So it felt a big win for the community of Hanging Heaton that our voices were finally heard and our extremely valid and important concerns were acknowledged.

“The battle is far from over. This is only a deferment and not the refusal we had hoped for but the local community will continue to fight to keep this extremely important and valuable green space.”

Other decisions at the same meeting:

Approved: Second floor extension at Heckmondwike Grammar School, High Street, Heckmondwike.

Approved: Single-storey extension to light industrial premises at Gladstone House, Gladstone Street, Cleckheaton.

Approved: Front porch, single-storey rear and first floor side extensions at 416 Lees Hall Road, Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury.

Approved: Change of pitch usage times at Dewsbury RLFC Ltd, The Tetley Stadium, Owl Lane, Shaw Cross, Dewsbury.

Approved: Replacement shop fronts at 8 Cowper Street, Savile Town, Dewsbury.

Refused: Detached garage with first-floor storage at 20 Steanard Lane, Mirfield.