COUNCILLOR Robert Light, who leads the opposition Conservatives, believes the figure is too high.
He said yesterday: “We recognise there’s a need for more land for housing and industry but we don’t necessarily accept what’s been put forward by the council.
“The Conservative position has always been that we should be looking for fewer new houses than the council has proposed.
“We think the level being looked at by Kirklees is unacceptable and not in the best interests of the borough.”
But the Birstall and Birkenshaw man added that councillors should listen to residents during the two-month consultation.
He said: “We want to hear the views of the public. The council needs to listen during this consultation – something which it doesn’t usually do.”
COUNCIL leader Clr Mehboob Khan pointed out that the LDF also included plans to allocate 140 hectares of land for industrial use.
The Greenhead Labour man said: “The LDF is not just about housing, it is about creating the place we want Kirklees to be over the next 18 years.
“This means looking at jobs, the economy, homes and where people want to live, our heritage and our green space.
“All these add to the quality of life for local people. But none of them happens in isolation – we have to consider how we can create the conditions that will attract jobs, desirable homes balanced by our desire to protect our countryside.”
Clr Khan added that the Government had instructed councils to come up with long-term development plans.
He said: “The Conservative government says we must have an LDF – but we have made it relevant for Kirklees.
“So we are concentrating on employment and attracting good quality jobs, and associated with that we have assessed roughly how many homes we think we will need for predicted population growth.
“The number of homes we have calculated is far lower than the Office of National Statistics estimate as we have applied local knowledge, and it is lower than in the previous LDF debated two years ago under the previous administration.”
Clr Khan added that he hoped people would take part in the consultation, which will run until February 6.
“It is now vital that the public join the debate because the future of our district is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.