New developer for old Soothill cricket ground homes

The former site of Soothill cricket ground.
The former site of Soothill cricket ground.

A property developer has stepped in to restart construction on homes at an old sports ground that were left in limbo.

The future was uncertain for 38 homes at Soothill Cricket Club in Soothill Lane, Batley, when original developer Southdale Limited went into administration.

But social housing firm Yorkshire Housing has now appointed Starfish Construction to complete the development, with work expected to restart this month.

A Yorkshire Housing spokesman said: “We are pleased to have appointed Starfish Construction to complete this development of 38 affordable homes.

“We sought a replacement contractor as soon as Southdale Homes went into administration, as we are keen to minimise delays.

“The homes will be completed to the original high-quality specification.”

The properties will consist of a mixture of two and three-bedroom houses, and two-bedroom flats.

AlixPartners confirmed that they were appointed as administrators for Southdale on April 29 due to severe cash flow problems because of loss-making contracts.

Concerns had been raised earlier by members of Soothill Community Forum, which campaigned to keep the land as a playing field for children before an application to build 34 homes and four apartments was granted in February.

After the future of the development became uncertain residents enlisted the support of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox (Lab) who said her office had been in contact with Yorkshire Housing about the future of the site.

Work was initially meant to be finished by early 2015.