Plans for Mirfield Moor go on show

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A COMPANY’S plans to build on Mirfield Moor been shown to the public.

Gear technology firm David Brown has drawn up designs for two modern buildings on the Mirfield 25 site to house part of its existing manufacturing operation, offices for its sales and engineering teams and a new wind innovation centre.

The company, based in Huddersfield since 1860, would move nearly two-thirds of its 450-strong workforce from Lockwood to the new facilities in Leeds Road if given planning permission.

Wayne Ball, general manager of the UK facility, said he wanted to assure local people that there would be no wind turbines on the site.

He said: “The wind innovation centre is a specialist unit for repairing and overhauling wind turbine gear boxes. There will be no wind turbines up there. Our business is only the mechanism.”

Mr Ball said the centre would also be used for designing and testing news gears after the company won a £2.2m government grant for a test rig.

Last Friday, more than 170 people visited a public exhibition about the scheme and took the chance to give feedback before the company submits its plans to Kirklees Council.

The company handed out feedback forms and said a ‘significant’ number had been returned which showed that 78 per cent of people felt the development could benefit the local area.

But Paul Cusworth, who lives in Bracken Close, Mirfield, said he was worried about the impact on nearby roads when 270 workers moved to the site.

He said: “We’re a bit gridlocked at certain times anyway.

“They’ve said the way the shifts operate, it won’t clash with peak times.

“Overall it’s a sensitive development, but we still have concerns about the traffic volumes.”

Mirfield MP Simon Reevell (Con) said the high-tech facility had the potential to create jobs, but that didn’t necessarily mean it was right for the M25 site.

He said: “I’m slightly concerned when you count the number of parking spaces. There are serious questions to be asked about whether the Leeds Road can cope with that.

“What’s important is that David Brown convince the people of Mirfield that it’s the right project on this site.”

Mr Ball said Kirklees Council highways officers had rated the company as low road users.

“The roads are a lot narrower in Lockwood and we don’t have any issues there,” he said.

The plans include road markings and central islands to lower speeds on Leeds Road, designated cycle lanes, improved pedestrian routes and an on-site bus stop to encourage use of public transport.