Campaigners vow to fight LDF

CAMPAIGNERS opposed to the building of 4,000 houses in the south of Dewsbury have promised to make Kirklees Council reverse its plans.

A meeting was organised by Thornhill Lees Community Action Group at the community centre in Brewery Lane, and local residents discussed the tactics they will use fight the development.

Dozens turned out on Thursday to share their fears about the impact that building thousands of homes on green belt land will have on the infrastructure and quality of life in Thornhill Lees.

A panel, which included the three councillors for Dewsbury South, Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell and Kirklees Conservative group leader Coun Robert Light, all opposed the Local Development Framework (LDF).

It followed a meeting held at the Dewsbury Rams stadium two weeks ago where Earlsheaton residents expressed concerns about a business development at Chidswell.

Bill Beattie, secretary and treasurer of the community action group, said: “In Thornhill Lees, it will all but destroy what remains of our green belt. We are already taking more than our fair share of development.”

Coun Khizar Iqbal (Ind) called the LDF proposals ‘outrageous’ and promised residents that the community would make Kirklees reverse its decision.

He was backed by Coun Salim Patel (Con) and Coun Masood Ahmed (Lab), who promised to lobby colleagues and do whatever they could to fight the development.

Mr Reevell suggested that the action group should invite council leader, Coun Mehboob Khan, to its next meeting. He said: “If he will not come here, there is a group here and a group that met at the Dewsbury Rams – let’s go to him.”

Many in attendance signed a petition that calls on Kirklees Council to “keep the trees in Thornhill Lees”, and took copies to distribute in the local community.

The LDF proposes to bring thousands of new homes and jobs to Kirklees by 2028. The council says that the plan is necessary to keep up with the area’s growing population.

Members of the public said that they would like the councillors on the panel to provide a list, naming exactly which members of the council support the LDF.

Coun Ahmed said he could not see that being a problem, while Coun Light confirmed that Conservative councillors would listen to local people.

The final plan will be subject to a vote of Kirklees’ full council.