Community leaders in Mirfield have been stung over the name of a proposed new housing development on the site of the soon-to-be demolished Wasps Nest pub.
Councillors and local historians want to name the new street after the pub and the centuries-old name for that part of town.
But suggestions to Kirklees Council to use the name Wasps Nest have been rebuffed by the council and the developer.
In an e-mail to Mirfield councillors Kath Taylor, Vivien Lees-Hamilton and Martyn Bolt, a council official wrote: “The council has received a number of suggestions, several to keep Wasp Nest in the street name.
“We have discussed name suggestions with the developer and although the site has a history connecting it to Wasp Nest the developer does not feel that such a name is commercially viable.
“The council feels such a name conjures up mental connotations of stinging and danger and would much prefer to find a name that has nothing to do with any sort of insect.”
There are some unusual street names in Kirklees - see a gallery below!
Sands Ltd secured planning permission in July to demolish the boarded-up pub in Nab Lane and build 12 homes on the site.
The council has a policy of asking the public to suggest names for new streets. Guidance says names should “not resemble existing street names in the area and not mention any individuals. It is preferred that the name relates to the local area.”
The Wasps Nest name pre-dates the pub and is thought to go back as far as the 1700s.
The area takes its name from a row of cottages lived in by a gang of notorious ruffians who would “swarm out like wasps” whenever anyone dared pass by.
There was a Wasp Nest Farm around the same time and the area also had links to the Luddites.
John Lindley had a nail-making business at Wasp Nest and made pikes, or spears, for the Luddites.
David Pinder, chairman of Mirfield History Group, said it was important to preserve the history of an area and not flood a town with generic street names.
“Kirklees just seems to want to expunge history and it all seems very silly. We are not going to launch World War Three over this but we want to maintain local history.”
Mr Pinder said Kirklees policy was for names to reflect the area and a recent development in Sunnybank Road, Mirfield, had been named Old Engine Close to mark the old railway sheds on the site.
“Maybe we should compromise and choose the name Kirklees Folly,” said Mr Pinder.
Clr Taylor said the council was trying to “stamp out” the town’s individuality and added: “If they are going to decimate Mirfield with new homes then the least they can do is respect our history.
“We keep being told there is a housing shortage so these homes will sell regardless of what they are called.”
Kirklees has suggested the names Kings Head Court or Heathfield Court – as both feature in Mirfield – or Beaumont Court after a wealthy local family.