Committee accused over no decision

PROBLEM SITE Residents at an access road near the proposed development.
PROBLEM SITE Residents at an access road near the proposed development.
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A planning committee chairman has denied that a decision over an application for 39 homes on urban green space is being purposely delayed until after the election.

Campaigners, led by Graeme Raisbeck, have voiced concern about the potential development by Strata Homes Limited in their neighbourhood.

“There’s nothing untoward, there’s nothing sinister and there’s no game play. It will just come along when it’s at the top of the list.”

Coun Steve Hall

Mr Raisbeck, of New Lane, Cleckheaton, claimed the application was “getting kicked into the long grass” by councillors on the new Strategic Planning Committee because no decision has been made since the plans were submitted to the council in September.

He thinks that if councillors allowed the homes to be built, it would have led to unpopularity in the run-up to local council elections.

Chairman of the cross-party Strategic Planning Committee Coun Steve Hall (Lab, Heckmondwike) said: “I can assure you that’s not the reason at all. We’ve got a lot of things that are coming up for the Strategic Committee and we can only do so many at any one time.

“It’s certainly not being pushed back until after the election.”

He added: “If that’s what this individual wants to think, that’s up to him.

“There’s nothing untoward, there’s nothing sinister and there’s no game play. It will just come along when it’s at the top of the list.”

Mr Raisbeck is also concerned about proposals in the application to place double yellow lines in Pearson Street, which would restrict parking.

He said: “They’re forgetting people who’ve lived here all their lives and are paying their mortgages.

“[Planners] have lost touch with why they are there completely,” he added.

The campaigners feel that if the 39 homes and associated works are allowed , it would serve as a precedent and applications to develop on urban green space – protected land – would be granted more liberally throughout Kirklees.

A decision was not made by committee when it met in November, December, January, February or March.

Visit www.kirklees.gov.uk to view the plans in full.