news

Kirklees councillor attacks highway policy as more homes given the nod

Anger as residents concerns ignored

Cross Lane, Scholes, where Miller Homes was given approval to build 39 homes despite strong objections from the community and local councillors(Image: . Pic from Google Maps)

A barrage of criticism failed to deter councillors from giving a new homes plan the green light.

Angry residents heckled Kirklees officials who recommended that 39 homes should be allowed off Cross Lane at Scholes, Holmfirth.

Local councillors too lined up to lay into planning and highways officers, claiming they were ignoring crucial issues.

Objectors claimed the new estate by Miller Homes would cause a host of problems, most notably increasing traffic congestion and the likelihood of accidents on the narrow roads between Holmfirth and New Mill.

But Kirklees Highways officials deemed there were no significant problems.

 

The announcement prompted boos and a cry of “rubbish” from members of the public present at the Huddersfield planning-sub committee at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Holme Valley South councillor Nigel Patrick attacked his own council’s highways team, claiming it was “utter nonsense” that the roads could cope.

He said planning officers were under pressure to approve sites and were “scratching around for reasons to approve” them.

Clr Nigel Patrick

“Highways are always happy,” he said. “They seem to be blind to the problems that those of us who use these roads face.

“Highways are failing this authority and the people of this borough.”

Clr Ken Sims, also Holme Valley South, criticised the lack of consideration given to the emerging Local Plan – the council’s blueprint for building more than 30,000 homes.

 

Many Scholes residents said they were upset that the Cross Lane plan could be approved before the overall housing situation in the village was considered by the planning inspector in the coming months.

One, who was speaking for the Scholes Future Community Group, said: “If the committee approves this now it denies the residents of Scholes the right to have it reviewed in the Local Plan.”

He added: “Scholes is a rural village and should be treated as such in resisting urbanisation.”

Kirklees Cllr Ken Sims.

 

A legal officer told the committee that the 39 home plan was not significant enough to affect the Local Plan.

Other residents also lined up to criticise the plan.

One claimed householders next to the proposed estate would lose two-and-a-half hours of sunlight a day.

Another said it would increase the number of car journeys in the village by 21%.

 

A third claimed the application was lacking in detailed drawings about the visual impact of the new homes.

Others said they would report the council to the Local Government Ombudsman.

But a move to refuse the plan by Clr Sims was voted down by just one vote by the 11 strong committee.

A vote for approval was supported by six votes for to five against.

View full mobile page