Hundreds of people opposed to a major business development on the border of Mirfield have made their case.
A letter objecting to the release of 42 hectares of green belt land at Cooper Bridge was signed by 880 people – the largest response to any single aspect of Kirklees Council’s Local Development Framework.
It alleged numerous failings by the council when it drew up its plan for housing and job creation over the next 15 years.
They ranged from failures to explain the process to local people or to co-operate with neighbouring authorities, to failing to comply with Government policy or make use of brownfield sites. A Save Kirklees Estate petition was signed by 223 people who said they had been ‘kept in the dark’ about plans for the business park.
It said: “This is not ‘Cooper Bridge’ as Kirklees Council has misleadingly described the site. It is the Kirklees Estate and the development will impact significantly on the lives and interests of Calderdale residents.
“We have a right to be consulted, a right which has not yet been observed.” Kirklees Council has argued the site is a natural extension of its strategic economic zone along the A62.
It said the site would take advantage of good motorway access, and there was potential for significant improvements in public transport.
But Keep Hartshead and Roberttown Rural questioned whether the site was sustainable, particularly when congestion was already a major issue.
It said its value and function as green belt land was greater than the need of that particular area for employment use.
Mirfield Town Council raised additional concerns about the loss of footpaths, the impact on local heritage sites nearby and the anticipated demands on public funding forthe necessary road improvements.
The proposals were also opposed by Mirfield Conservative Party which said it believed brownfield land should be exhausted first and there was already enough employment land in Kirklees.