Council calls LDF meeting

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AN EXTRAORDINARY council meeting is to be held over plans to build thousands of new homes and give green fields over to industry development.

But at this stage, it is unclear why Kirklees Council has scheduled the March 6 session.

Campaigners opposed to the Local Development Framework (LDF) fear it could mean the plans win approval sooner than expected.

They will meet tonight under the banner of Kirklees Action Groups, a network of campaign groups from across the district.

Chidswell Action Group member Jan Tate said: “All the Kirklees groups are coming together. It’s a case of pooling resources, ideas and information.”

People from Chickenley, Chidswell and Thornhill Lees will be among those speaking at the meeting at the Premier Inn at Brighouse at 7pm.

Robert Bamforth, of Kirklees Community Action Network, said: “We started bringing the groups together about two years ago after one of the early consultations on the LDF.

“We realised there were a lot of individual action groups across Kirklees but we would have a stronger voice if we joined together. If each group stood totally independently would be able to pick each group off one by one.”

The key principals of the LDF were agreed in November but were not expected to be ratified until later this year.

The council also set up a working party to look at policy areas where more discussion was needed and report back in early 2012.

But this week, there were no details of the March meeting on the council website.

Officers were also unable to explain why it had been called.

Ms Tate said: “Kirklees Council weren’t supposed to ratify the decision until June. We were told they would wait until the regional Spacial Strategy (RSS) was abolished by the government.”

After Stevenage Borough Council won a legal bid to approve its LDF plans before the abolition, there are fears Kirklees could do the same.

Ms Tate said: “Everybody is annoyed because we think it’s something they shouldn’t do. The national planing policy hasn’t event been set yet.”

Follow me on Twitter @ReporterGeorge. Email me at georgina.morris@ywng.co.uk