Developers have rejected a campaign group’s bid to buy land threatened with housing.
Bellway Homes, one of the UK’s largest house builders, has owned the greenfield site for several years.
The company was thwarted in its plans to build there in 1999 but is now back for more.
The firm was about to submit a planning application to Kirklees Council when Project Mirfield launched an audacious bid to buy the land.
Steve Benson, chairman and founder of Project Mirfield, recruited mystery investors who were willing to put up the money to buy the land at “agricultural value”.
Mr Benson has declined to say how much he thought the land was worth or who was backing the bid.
In the 1990s when Balderstone Fields were last under threat, hundreds of residents fought a battle under the ‘No way, Bellway’ banner.
Housing allocation for the site was thrown out at a public inquiry with the planning inspector raising serious questions over access and highway safety.
Bellway Homes initially refused to comment to the Examiner on the buy-back offer but a response has now been received by Mirfield Tory councillor Martyn Bolt.
In the reply, David Jones, the firm’s managing director, said: “Bellway would not consider any offer for that land at the moment, in particular for agricultural value.”
Clr Bolt published the reply on Facebook, sparking an angry response from Mr Benson.
Mr Benson accused Clr Bolt of “not knowing what was going on” and wrote: “Sorry to all who have worked so hard. This could have blown it all.”
Mr Benson yesterday refused to comment to the Examiner.
Mr Benson originally announced the buy-back offer at a media photocall on December 30.
He said: “There was nothing to indicate that this was confidential as news of the offer was already in the public domain.”
Bellway sales director Maria Seed confirmed to the Examiner that Mr Jones’ comments were correct but said there would be no further response.