CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed a U-turn over a key meeting.
Kirklees Council had planned to ban residents from speaking on the Local Development Framework (LDF).
The blueprint would allow 28,000 new homes to be built in the district by 2028.
If the LDF goes ahead, green belt land in Honley, Almondbury and Ainley Top would be developed.
Councillors will debate and vote on the plan at a meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall on November 23.
Officials wanted to stop residents from speaking at the event to “maintain the proposed timetable for the meeting.”
But councillors have now agreed to a U-turn.
Residents will now be allowed to speak at the meeting between 10am and 2pm.
Robert Bamforth, spokesman for anti-LDF group Kirklees Community Action Network, welcomed the U-turn yesterday.
“I think it’s excellent news,” he said. “It gives the public a chance to say what they think about the LDF.
“More importantly, it gives councillors the chance to hear what the public has to say about the LDF.”
Mr Bamforth hopes residents’ groups from across Kirklees will speak at the meeting.
“I would expect a big attendance,” he said.
“I would particularly like to see different groups from different areas having their say, because what’s important to a group in Dewsbury is different to what’s important to a group in Holmfirth.”
The meeting will begin at 10am on November 23. Resident will be allowed to speak for four hours, before a 60-minute break.
Officers will then make a presentation from 3pm, followed by a debate among councillors.
If the blueprint is approved, a public consultation will be launched in January.
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan is happy with the new arrangements.
The Greenhead Labour man said yesterday: “This plan will balance the right of the public to have their say, the need of councillors to represent those in their communities who will not be able to come on the day or who have made their views known to them, and the need for the council to reach a decision.”
Residents will also be able to speak on the LDF at a Kirklees Cabinet meeting on November 8.
Clr Khan yesterday called on political parties to publish their proposals between the two meetings.
He said: “I hope that, in the time between, all the groups will make their proposals public so we can have an informed debate when we meet on November 23, with the opportunity to give views on the officer proposals as well as the individual group proposals.”