THE one great achievement of planning since World War II has been the creation and in general successful defence of the Green Belt.
In their Local Development Framework, Kirklees Council intends to tear up the Green Belt in this area.
About 300 acres of Green Belt are allocated for business and industry; plus an initial 3,600 houses on Green Belt land.
Further houses will be approved in the Green Belt in such districts as Holmfirth, New Mill, Thongsbridge, Linthwaite, Denby Dale, Scissett and Clayton West where, in the judgement of planners, ‘the use of Green Belt will be appropriate’.
If we do not act urgently to stop it, we shall be condemned by future generations for betraying our heritage.
Why the rush?
WELL we have finally been informed of the Local Development Framework in this month’s edition of Kirklees Council’s publication, Together.
This now gives us three weeks in which to wade through the mountains of appendices and extras providing we are “online” or can get to a library (not Slaithwaite as this is closed following a flood) or any other library that has only the briefest outline of “the plan” and this is not to be taken away.
It is also difficult to get in and out of Huddersfield to find out information at the Civic Centre due to the magic bus lane whose construction is causing traffic to back up onto the ring road.
This is an example of Council “planning”.
No wonder most of us are concerned that to trust Kirklees with any plan is too reckless a gamble.
The consultation process from which so many people are excluded is to end on February 6.
In light of the fact that the government has scrapped building targets and is pushing a “Localisation Bill” why is our council so desperately trying to push through this ill conceived plan?
It’s not all sunshine
IŠAM gratefulŠto your two correspondents J Berryman and K Grant (January 11) for their reassurances on the viability of solar panels, whose efficiencyŠseems dependent on location,Š which was one ofŠmy questions in the Examiner (Mailbag, January 7).
True, in 2009 the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors may have been referring to less modern solar panels (and not today’s advanced models) in its claim that recovering one’s investmentŠwould take at least 50Šyears.Š
I would have more confidence inŠour green industry if the panels did not require obnoxious inputs like lead, cadmium, mercuryŠand brominated retardants: do we cross our fingersŠfor their safeŠassembly and eventual disposal?
Furthermore, according to Professor T Gutowski of the MIT, solar panel production uses vast amounts of energy, a thousand times more than traditional industries, hardly a healthy example of business practice.
Bring me sunshine ...
Mixed energy sources
DR David Hill highlights the Look North ‘exposé’ on the recent lull in wind power and on that basis says wind power is a waste of money.
The reality is that the UK produces one of the lowest percentages of its energy from renewable sources of any country in Europe.
Only Malta and Luxembourg produce a lower proportion of their energy from renewables.
So if you don’t have a lot of wind turbines, onshore or offshore, in the first place it is hardly surprising that the potential to produce electricity from wind is limited.
The truth is that we have one of the highest and most predictable wind resources in Europe, particularly offshore, but have been very tardy in investing in it compared with other countries.
Dr Hill goes on to say that the Green Party should be supporting hydro power schemes. Actually the Green Party does support large scale hydro and I don’t know why he thinks we don’t.
Hydro projects can store energy to be released at times of high demand.
The truth is that we need a mix of energy sources, renewable and non-renewable, hopefully using the developing carbon capture and storage technologies. Crucially, though, we need to be wasting less energy and using it more efficiently in the first place.
Clr Andrew Cooper
Sensible Tory values
SURELY the new Con-LibDem coalition approach to the economy with George Osborne’s budget is the only reasonable way ahead. New Labour’s years of ‘spend, spend, spend’ with money they did not have, was not good common sense to say the least, rather gross management.
Barry Sheerman and his Jeremy Benthamite radicals need to set the error of their ways, whilst the Kirklees Liberal-Labour led council with Clr Smithson and Clr Paul Kane should see the error of their ways, so that Clr Robert Light and Clr Andrew Palfreeman et al, can restore the council and a more sure footing and re-establish sensible Tory values again.
Clr John D Nottingham
MIifield Town Council
Driving us mad
MR Bray is perfectly right about the bus lane from Waterloo to Moldgreen (Mailbag, January 14) but doesn’t mention why.
If I take that route instead of going across the A629 and up the back of Almondbury to Lockwood or Aspley there are two problems.
One is trying to sync perfectly with the cameras, in my case from Lepton to Aspley and avoiding being boxed in on the bus lanes as well.
I stay in the nearside lane most of the time but after 9.20am there are commercial vehicles unloading and cars parked either in the bus lane or in both the bus lane and halfway up the pavement.
You take a chance on pulling out abruptly as no one hardly lets you out. That is why people do not go in it. Simple really.
I have found that by nipping down to Kirkburton, up the A629 and left to Almondbury and Castle Hill I can get to various parts of Huddersfield or Halifax come to that without coming near that Waterloo route of trouble.
On the Lockwood right turn saga, I am one of those that rightly or wrongly resents some of the drivers that tear up the outer right hand turn. Not all – but some are tearaways and have no regard for others or any lane discipline.
When they come right cutting people up, they know full well that on the left there are cars parked and sometimes a bus between the pub corner and the laundry.
So they skid round on two wheels and try and intimidate other drivers. They will not admit to this, of course.
Grit for all
I HOPE that we won’t all be “brought to justice” for filling bags from the grit bins.
We have been told that our area can’t have a grit bin, but – on November 25 a Kirklees Highways officer confirmed that the grit in the bins is there for everybody to use. It isn’t specifically for the immediate area around that bin. Bag it up and take it for your own patch.
More heroes returning
FOLLOWING the overwhelming popularity of our Heroes Return 2 funding programme, I am delighted to announce the Big Lottery Fund has extended its scheme for a further year, enabling even more Second World War veterans from the Kirklees area to return to the places where they fought.
Originally the grants scheme was scheduled to close this month but BIG has decided to extend it to ensure as many veterans as possible can take advantage of the funding.
This extension of the scheme will be a big help to those who have felt so far unable to make their personal journeys back to the battlefronts of WWII.
It is clear how valuable these journeys are in helping veterans come to terms with the traumatic experiences they remember and to honour the comrades lost almost 70 years ago.
To date more than 50,000 individual journeys have been made through Heroes Return 2 and its fore-runner grants scheme to former battle-fronts such as Italy, France, Greece, Holland, Germany and the Far East as well as to attend commemorative events within the UK.
The Lottery grants are available for travel and accommodation costs for veterans or their widows, along with spouses and a carer, and I urge any veterans yet to be awarded a grant from the scheme to get in touch.
Details about the scheme and how to apply are available by calling 0845 00 00 121 or visiting www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/heroesreturn
Interim Chair of the Big Lottery Fund