Get off our green belt

ANGRY people have spoken out against development on green belt land in Dewsbury.

Chidswell Action Group put forward their opposition to Kirklees Council’s planning blueprint (the Local Development Framework) at a special cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Spokesman for the group Rod Lilly said the development strategy put forward by council officers was unsustainable.

The plan proposes building 500 homes on Chidswell’s green belt land near Leeds Road..

He said: “What is required in Kirklees is more social housing and more jobs, but in the right location.

“Chidswell is not the right location and there are many more brown field sites appropriate for development.”

Mr Lilly said it was the right for communities to protect their green areas, adding that residents valued the land as an important part of community life.

He said the area’s natural beauty and recreational value gave Chidswell its unique culture.

Tomorrow, Chidswell Action Group will take part in a protest march across the affected green belt.

The group will meet at the Huntsman in Chidswell Lane at 10am.

The meeting also heard from Bill Beattie, of Thornhill Lees, representing the village’s protest against plans to build 1,500 new homes on green belt land.

He criticised the fact plans had been made by unelected council officers and no full consultation carried out with residents, saying that it was ironic that this could happen in a democratic country.

Mr Beattie also argued that Thornhill Lees would be unable to cope with further development.

He said: “The two main roads are always heavily congested with people from the surrounding villages. With the geographical layout of the village there is no plausible way of alleviating this problem, so imagine in 15 years time.

“Schools are at full capacity. Medical care is a the same level, with one practice not accepting any further patients.”

Mr Beattie argued that the councils plans would result in fewer dairy farms, farmland and other valuable resources.

He said: “We are being asked to reduce our carbon footprint, take these resources and we can only import. We are only guardians of our planet and should ensure that it remains for future generations to enjoy.

“The Thornhill Leeds that we know will no longer exist.”