Gears firms states case

Representatives of David Brown make their case at Mirfield Town Council.
Representatives of David Brown make their case at Mirfield Town Council.
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A FIRM that plans to develop green fields in Mirfield has told councillors and members of the public that it will be good for the town.

Representatives from engineering firm David Brown, which has applied to build two buildings on a 10-acre site at Mirfield Moor, made their case at a Mirfield Town Council meeting on Wednesday.

Ian Bath, from developer First Industrial, said: “The outcome of this planning application is a commitment to Mirfield for 25 years. It will be a valuable asset to the Mirfield community.”

General manager of David Brown Wayne Ball said the development would include a gear manufacturing centre and a wind technology innovation centre, and move 270 members of staff from the firm’s current Huddersfield base to Mirfield.

He said that if the firm was to win a large contract that required it to increase production, this could create new jobs in Mirfield.

Concerns were raised about congestion on roads around the site.

But Mr Bath said David Brown would invest in improving parts of Sunny Bank Road, Leeds Road and roads in Roberttown.

He also said that staff work in shifts that start and end outside rush hour, some walk and cycle to work, and some live in Mirfield, so use the roads already.

He added that noise would be reduced by building 6ft acoustic walls on top of mounds around the site.

At the planning committee meeting on Wednesday, chairman Coun David Pinder said scepticism about David Brown’s development stemmed from mistakes made by Kirklees planning officers who have dealt with proposed developments on Mirfield Moor in the past.

He said: “I think we have been let down by the sloppiness of Kirklees planners.”

The committee agreed to object to parts of the planning application on behalf of the town council, due to concerns about traffic flows, the location of the two buildings and several other planning technicalities.

David Brown’s planning application will be discussed by Kirklees’ Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee at Dewsbury Town Hall on Monday at 2pm.

There, councillors will make a recommendation to the planning and highways committee, which will make a decision in January.

Mr Ball said Monday’s meeting was originally due to be held in the new year, but was brought forward to reassure David Brown’s investors before the end of 2011 that the development would go ahead.