‘Emmerdale’ style homes to transform land

Emmerdale village on the Harewood estate. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Emmerdale village on the Harewood estate. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The mud-caked Range Rovers common in the fictional TV village of Emmerdale may become a familiar sight in Spen if a land owner gets his way.

Howard Cook is hoping to build 43 homes on Park Farm – brownfield land off Smithies Way in Heckmondwike. And he thinks the development would boast the look of the show.

“I think it will be made very welcome in the area by a lot of people,” said Mr Cook.

“It’s a different type of development and it will enhance the area from what it is now.

“It will look similar to the Emmerdale Farm image,” he added.

The site is currently occupied by old farm and commercial buildings, and the wider Ponderosa Park complex which includes the Lakeside Restaurant and Bar.

It has also homed the Ponderosa Rural Therapeutic Centre, which contains a zoo boasting llamas and emus, since the early 1990s.

Supporting information drafted by agents David Storrie Planning, included in the application, reads: “Positive advice was given by officers who welcomed the opportunity to provide high quality development in place of the somewhat unsightly and characterless commercial buildings scattered across the site.

“The proposal presents a unique bespoke design with a dominant rural/agricultural feel, with many of the buildings designed to appear like converted agricultural buildings.”

Included in the plans are access, landscaping, an open space, 105 parking places for cars and 43 for bikes.

Though the site lies within greenbelt – land earmarked to remain open and free from urban development – the National Planning Policy Framework published in 2012 presumes in favour of sustainable building.

Supporting documents also said: “The redevelopment of this site in the form proposed would not have any greater impact on the openness of the greenbelt.

“Infact, given that the proposed footprint and volume is less than the existing state, it would result in an increase in openness.”

Public consultation on the plans ends on March 10. Go to www.kirklees.gov.uk