Warning that Mirfield village “will be swamped” if plans go-ahead

People living on the outskirts of Mirfield say their compact village will more than double in size if a contentious housing estate goes ahead.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 9:04 am
Northorpe Lane
Northorpe Lane

Developers want to build 48 houses on a parcel of farmland off Northorpe Lane.

To do they must demolish a detached home to create access to the land-locked site.

The land has been allocated for housing as part of Kirklees Council’s Local Plan, which was adopted last year.

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But residents say the size of the development will “swamp” their hamlet.

And they claim the entire community is against the scheme.

At a meeting of the council’s Planning Sub-Committee (Heavy Woollen) held at Dewsbury Town Hall councillors agreed to defer the proposal.

It followed concerns about the use of a nearby grass verge – described by locals as a “land grab” of the remnants of a former village green – that is required to create a lay-by to aid traffic movement on the narrow road and ensure highway safety.

The land borders nearby Northorpe Hall, a children’s mental health charity.

Residents who spoke after the meeting said Northorpe Lane is already heavily used by motorists and fear that congestion will only increase if the housing estate is built.

They said traffic operated as “a tidal flow” at 30-minute intervals outside the 17th century hall which, combined with the single lane and on-street parking on both sides, was a constant problem frequently leading to gridlock.

It made access difficult for the emergency services and service vehicles such as bin wagons.

But they reserved their anger for the loss of the grass verge, which they said was being sacrificed “to facilitate that development, which is not appropriate to this area”.

Speaking collectively members of campaign group Save Northorpe said they not not been kept properly informed and accused the council of attempting to create the vital lay-by in order to hit its housing targets.

“Overall it’s a shocking carry-on.

“It honestly feels like this is a done deal. They are just going through the motions.

“The whole village feels like that.

“The village is going to be swamped by houses than are already there. It will be twice the size. It’s utter madness.”

They added that the land designated for housing had recently been “obliterated” in what one villager called “slash and burn”.

Kirklees’ Local Plan, which will see tens of thousands of new homes built in the borough, was adopted in February.

An order from the government, the Local Plan includes 31,000 homes, many of which will have to be built within the green belt, as there is insufficient non-green belt land in the borough.

It equates to building 1,730 homes per annum in the borough.