DEVELOPMENT work has begun at a flashpoint site in Huddersfield.
Miller Homes has moved machinery onto Lindley Moor in the last few days.
The developer won planning permission last year to build 300 homes on fields next to the M62 following years of protest.
Heavy earth-moving equipment has been working on the land off Cowrakes Road and Weatherhill Road.
Clr Cahal Burke, who campaigned against the development spoke of his sorrow as he watched the equipment moving on to the fields.
“I saw some big earth-moving machines moving in. It makes it a reality. When they move in you realise that it’s all going to be gone,” said the Lindley Lib Dem.
“It was upsetting to see the machinery move in, knowing that the fields will be lost forever.”
Clr Burke blamed Kirklees Council planners for giving the proposal the green light last year.
“It’s just a feeling of sheer disappointment at a decision that should never have stood and one against the views of the majority of residents,” he said.
Clr Burke also blamed Kirklees councillors from the 1990s who passed the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) which allocated the land at Lindley Moor for housing.
“Lindley Moor should never have been in the UDP for development,” he said.
As part of the work, a public footpath through the middle of the site from Crosland Road to Weatherhill Road has now been closed.
Miller Homes regional operations director Andrew Davies wrote to residents on Friday to explain the work.
He wrote: “I am contacting you directly to advise the initial site establishment works are now scheduled to commence in mid-August 2012, these include securing the site and the temporary closure of footpath 408 as agreed with Kirklees Council.