Despite all our best efforts, wonderful support from villagers, and some great arguments and reasoning, the Strategic Planning Committee voted 4-2 to approve Jones Homes application for 58 houses at the Town Hall on Thursday.
In our opinion Kirklees planning officers have ignored and manipulated information in order to support their building an inappropriate development in an unsuitable location, just to boost housing figures. This despite a recent judgement from the Planning Inspectorate stating that housing land supply was not an overriding factor. The committee is made up of a majority who don’t understand our small rural outpost, and it seems the vote was influenced by this lack of appreciation, and party politics.
We believe this is not ‘planning’, it’s simply mass housing rollout to meet spurious targets, irrespective of any other factors.
Despite the undesirable decision there were a number of conditions places on the developer after discussion at the meeting, key ones being:
- The modification of the junction of Dunford Road and Penistone Road on safety grounds – however the developer cleverly inserted a clause that they get the money refunded after five years if this is not actioned. Due to the ownership of the land in question not being known, it’s quite possible that this will not be started.
- Construction of all houses should be in natural stone with natural slate roofing. This will need to be carefully monitored as it’s possible that the developer might try and save money by ignoring or bypassing this and other conditions.
On behalf of the HEFF committee (or in other words, a group of well-meaning laymen), a big THANK YOU to all those that gave moral and financial support during our sixteen month campaign. We have met some great people and made friendships throughout this trying time, so some good has come of it.
We hope you continue to enjoy our meteorologically challenged village and it’s beautiful surroundings.
Should you want to view the committee meeting it was webcast live and will soon be ready for retrospective viewing here.
You can see the planning application here 2016/60/91967/W .