Major cash injection for M25 site firm

THE company behind a controversial development plan for Mirfield Moor has been awarded £2m of government cash.

The money, which was handed to gear technology firm David Brown by deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and business secretary Vince Cable, comes despite local opposition to the 10-acre development at Mirfield 25. The cash has come from a Regional Growth Fund.

The Huddersfield firm intends to invest £2.8m of its own cash into making the site into a new test centre for wind technology.

A statement from David Brown said the funding would boost the company’s growth in the renewable energy sector in the UK and worldwide, and would secure 80 new jobs in the area.

Reacting to the news, Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) said: “I think it’s an interesting twist on the government’s policy of localism and the idea that a development should have local support.

“The last time anyone did a meaningful consultation on Mirfield Moor was on the Mirfield Matters website, and people came out against development on the site.”

Despite the jobs boost, people leaving near to the site, in Leeds Road, are worried the road system would not cope with such a large development.

And while the funding is good news for David Brown, Mirfield town councillors are concerned that their questions about the development are not being answered.

A delegation from David Brown was scheduled to go to September’s meeting of Mirifled Town Council, but the company pulled out at the last minute and said a new date would be arranged.

But a date is still yet to be set.

“We have not had contact about his since,” said Coun Bolt.

“But the clock is ticking and this is a cause for concern.”

The firm said general manager Wayne Ball wanted to go to the meeting in person when he learned it was to be a public session but was unavailable on that date.

Councillors have also received a report from a planning consultant concerning Mirfield 25.

Coun Bolt said a meeting was to be arranged with Kirklees Council’s planning department to talk through concerns and other matters.

“As this is a new application for planning permission from David Brown, it is to be looked at afresh,” said Coun Bolt.

In the mean time David Brown has started ground investigations at the site.

This week developers have been drilling boreholes around Mirfield Moor to check for potential shallow voids which may have formed during the site’s former use, when it was associated with coal mining.

If approved, building is expected to begin next year.