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Bellway Homes back for more with plans for 60 homes on controversial greenfield site

Hundreds set to mobilise against developer for the third time in Mirfield

Balderstone Fields

Vigilant residents are primed for battle with a housing developer before the firm has even applied for permission.

The people of Mirfield are preparing for another campaign against Bellway Homes.

In 2015 the housing firm pulled out of its plan to construct more than 130 homes on fields off narrow Wellhouse Lane, just a few minutes before councillors were due to consider it.

The eleventh hour withdrawal came 16 years after the firm lost a public inquiry for a new build estate, behind Crossley Fields Junior and Infants School.

Save Mirfield protest march in 2014

Two years ago, Mirfield Tory Clr Martyn Bolt warned people the Newcastle-based firm would resurrect its plan for Balderstone fields.

Householders living close to the proposed site have now been notified that a reduced plan for 60 homes is imminent and invited to a consultation event on August 2.

Campaigners from Project Mirfield, launched to battle the previous application, are now assembling to take on Bellway once more.

They say they will make it known that the new proposal is still unwanted.

Residents turn out against Bellway Homes' plans for a new housing estate off Hepworth Lane, Mirfield in 2015

Steve Benson, who launched the campaign and has since become a Mirfield town councillor, said he had plenty of new ammunition in the bid to see off the developer for the third time.

“I’ve got a lot to throw at them,” he said.

“A lot of problems will be created for residents living nearby by building on this site.

“We’ve offered them £136,000 for that land to keep it as it is, but they refused.

“About seven months ago I contacted them to make the offer again and they politely declined.”

Mirfield Town councillor Steve Benson with his drone objecting to a Housing development on Balderstone fields in 2015

Clr Benson said the plan would be “torturous” for residents while it was built and then more than a dozen homes would lose their amenity.

One of his main fears is localised flooding from surface water run off on the sloping site.

And he said the expected extra 100 cars would cause problems on the already single-file sections of Wellhouse Lane and Hepworth Lane.

Save Mirfield protest march in 2014

He added: “These roads were designed for horses and carts, that’s why they’re called lanes.

“It will be hellish and certainly dangerous for the kids from the school.

“We are going to be protesting at the consultation event and telling them what we think.

“There’s lots of value in those fields.

“There’s all the wildlife, two Tawny owls and all the other birds and bats.

“And a horse that was bred and raised on that field competed in the Olympics last year.

“They’ve announced the consultation at short notice, when a lot of people are on holiday, but I still expect a very good turnout as this has already upset a lot of people.”

A spokesman for Bellway Homes said: " Bellway Homes will be hosting a Public Consultation into its proposals for Balderstone Hall before submitting a Planning Application. The Public Consultation will be held at The Barn, Northorpe Hall, Mirfield on 2nd of August 2017 and members of the public are invited to drop in between 4pm – 7pm to view the proposals and leave their comments”

The consultation event will take place at Northorpe Hall off Northorpe Lane, between 4pm and 7pm, on August 2.

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