NEARLY 200 homes will be built in a village – with a councillor warning of “disastrous” plans for hundreds more.
Planners yesterday approved 191 homes at Black Rock Mills in Linthwaite despite angry opposition from residents worried about extra traffic.
And Clr David Ridgway, who represents the area on Kirklees Council, warned after the meeting that hundreds more houses could be built in the village.
The council’s Huddersfield Planning Subcommittee approved 110 houses and 81 flats on the Waingate site. The mill, which is in Linthwaite Conservation Area, closed in 1965.
Subcommittee chairwoman Clr Linda Wilkinson took the unprecedented step of suspending the meeting for 10 minutes because angry residents continually heckled a planning officer who was outlining the proposal.
When the meeting restarted, the residents were given the chance to speak against the plan.
Trevor Woolley told councillors that the development would bring hundreds more cars to the narrow roads around the mill.
He said: “Should a child be killed because of this committee’s decision, you will never be forgiven.”
Ian Baxter, who lives on Stones Lane next to the mill, told councillors that the disused site should be put to a better use.
He said: “I’ve lived in Linthwaite all my life and I can probably see more of the mill from my house than any other property. I’m in favour in principle of developing the site, there’s no alternative or the mill will fall to pieces.
“But an inspirational architect could have designed something that could have given Linthwaite the village centre it needs but doesn’t have.”
Alan Brooke of Clough Drive told councillors that the development was not appropriate for the area. He said: “No-one wants this plan. People bought houses there because it’s a semi-rural area. If this goes ahead it won’t be a semi-rural area anymore.”
But subcommittee member Clr Molly Walton told residents it was better to build homes on brownfield sites like Black Rock Mills than greenfield land.
The Crosland Moor and Netherton Labour councillor added: “I live on a narrow road on Crosland Hill. Forty houses have been built at one end of the road and sixty at the other.
“Like most of you, I’m at an age where I don’t want things to change but we have to cope with it as best we can.”
The subcommittee then voted unanimously to give outline planning permission for Kier Ventures to build on the site.
Five of the mill buildings will be converted to 39 flats and six houses. Several other buildings on the site will be torn down to make way for 104 houses and 42 flats.
After the meeting Clr David Ridgway, who lives in Linthwaite, warned that hundreds more homes could be built in the village.
Kirklees is currently drawing up its Local Development Framework which will determine land use between 2011 and 2026. The council’s plan includes 800 new homes in Linthwaite.
Clr Ridgway said: “The infrastructure of roads and schools in Linthwaite is insufficient so any further development would only make the problem worse.
“Eight hundred new homes would be disastrous for Linthwaite.”