Will our battle be in vain?

CONCERNED: Jeffrey and Barbara Stead fear increased traffic at Leeds Road. (d03081143)
CONCERNED: Jeffrey and Barbara Stead fear increased traffic at Leeds Road. (d03081143)

A COUPLE who fought to save their community’s green spaces fear the campaign they fought in the 1990s will go to waste.

Jeffrey and Barbara Stead were vocal opponents of a plan to build an opencast mine at Chidswell, and in 1999 won a public inquiry to stop the development.

But the same land is under threat again, as Kirklees Council proposes to build 700 homes and a 35 hectare business development as part of its Local Development Framework.

Mr Stead said: “We feel like we came to such a satisfactory conclusion with the opencast campaign, and we feel that all of that has been wasted because the land is going to be taken away in another way.”

Now, Mr and Mrs Stead, of Leeds Road, Woodkirk, want to know who will lead a fresh campaign.

Mr Stead, 84, said: “It’s got to be somebody younger than me. I’m too old. We want somebody to stand up and be counted.”

Mrs Stead, 79, said: “We have been expecting to be informed of who would be willing to form a committee, but we haven’t heard a thing.”

As with the mine, Mr and Mrs Stead are worried that they will lose the green spaces that they cherish, and that the LDF will make the traffic on Leeds Road even busier.

Mr Stead said: “It’s so galling, when we have proved to an inspector that opencast mining would be detrimental.”