COUNCILLORS will decide tomorrow whether a controversial development next to two schools can go ahead.
Huddersfield Technical College (HTC) wants to sell off land for housing next to Ashbrow Junior and Infant School and Ashbrow Nursery School.
Some 188 residents have signed a petition against the development of the site on Bradley Boulevard, which used to be home to the college’s agricultural and horticultural courses.
Objectors fear extra traffic would endanger children on the way to school. They also believe the development will infringe on part of Ash Meadow Close which is used by parents to drop off their children.
Other problems include loss of green space used by bats, foxes and barn owls.
Clr Ken Smith, who represents Ashbrow on Kirklees Council, said: “I oppose this plan on the grounds that it’s development on greenfield land. But if the development must go ahead then there needs to be a separate access point for traffic going into the development which avoids the schools’ drop-off point.”
College vice-principal Melanie Brooke said the sell-off was part of a wider plan to move to the Waterfront Quarter at Chapel Hill. She said: “Funds from the sale of our unused Ashbrow site would contribute towards this capital project.”
Ms Brooke added that plans for the new site were also in the pipeline. She said: “The college is developing a design to enable it to apply for outline planning permission towards the end of this year for a new purpose-built campus at the Waterfront Quarter.
“We are working closely with Kirklees Council and the developer who are both supportive of our proposals.”
Ms Brooke said classes would continue at the HTC’s existing site if the Waterfront development gets the go-ahead.
She said: “If plans are approved, courses would stay at New North Road during the whole of the building period causing no disruption to classes. Learners could be studying at a new campus within the next four years.”
Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-Committee will decide on the Ashbrow plan at a meeting tomorrow.