A mass of people braved the wind and rain this week to deliver a clear message to developers planning 136 new homes for Mirfield – we don’t want you here.
New campaign group Project Mirfield rallied residents opposed to the controversial plans for the Balderstone Hall fields off Hepworth Lane.
And just one month after forming, the group claim they have secured enough cash to buy back the 11.2 acre site from Bellway Homes.
Group chairman Steve Benson did not reveal how the money had been raised, but said they had “sufficient funds” to buy the land at the “going rate for green grass agricultural land” with no planning permission. The Reporter believes this to be at least £100,000.
Mr Benson said the group would be sending a letter of intent to Bellway with a 99-year no build policy if they secure the land. Campaigners say Mirfield’s schools and doctors are already under strain and the proposed access lanes to the site are already grid-locked at peak times. Mr Benson, who works in the construction industry, said: “We are offering Bellway an easy way out.”
Project Mirfield volunteers have already been monitoring traffic around Crossley Fields Junior and Infant School.
Mr Benson said: “The traffic situation is horrendous. 136 dwellings on the fields is quite obviously going to make it worse.” Bellway has yet to submit a planning application, but the plans revealed in November show 116 homes would be accessed from Woodward Court cul-de-sac, close to the school, and another 20 from Hepworth Lane.
“You’d be looking at two years building if they got planning permission,” Mr Benson said. “The logistics of supplying the site are a major problem – you’d have 30 tonne tipper wagons and articulated lorries trying to get down Woodward Court.”
More than 400 people have joined a Facebook group for Project Mirfield.
Mr Benson said: “This is your time to shape the future of Mirfield. Sit back and we will lose these fields forever.”
For more information see www.projectmirfield.co.uk. or join the group on Facebook.