A devoloper heavily criticised by councillors was shown leniency – even though members didn’t like plans for the 236 homes in Linthwaite.
Despite a wholly negative reaction to Kier Ventures returning to seek more units for Black Rock Mills, Kirklees councillors voted to defer a decision.
It gives the developer time to revise the scheme, having heard the lengthy grumbles about it.
In a heated debate, councillors voted nine to six in favour of talks with the developer.
The decision was greeted with a shout of “disgraceful” by resident Trevor Woolley.
While another, John Garside, had earlier informed councillors that Linthwaite residents had just received letters from Kirklees Council warning of a flood risk – in the area of the new homes.
Kier Ventures already have permission for 191 homes, which was granted in 2009 and extended in 2011.
However, they returned to the Huddersfield Planning Committee seeking 248 homes, which was revised to 236 before yesterday’s meeting.
The developer told members they were unable to offer the required 15% affordable housing, but would offer 5%.
They said they couldn’t afford the education contribution of £612,825, and the council agreed not to seek it.
James Hobson, of Signet Planning, agent to Kier, told members the original planning permission stalled because the site was unviable.
“Abnormal” land issues, including brooks and culverts, were discovered on the site which added to the cost and put a halt to the build.
Clr David Ridgway, Colne Valley Lib Dem, criticised the developer’s “scattergun” approach, saying: “I’m old fashioned enough to understand Caveat Emptor (buyer beware).
“If Kier is daft enough to purchase a plot without looking at it in detail then that’s their problem.”
When the committee began debating there were few positive comments – Clr Steve Hall said it was “galling” they had only offered 5% affordable housing and no education contribution.
Clr Andrew Marchington said local infrastructure needed improvements to deal with the volume of new homes.
Clr Donna Bellamy raised concerns about the waste water provision, which already floods.
Clr Hilary Richards said she was “uncomfortable” with the lack of education provision, when there could be 300 or more children moving to the over-subscribed school area.
Five more councillors lined up to criticise the plan with concerns about the use of greenfield, impact on highways, flood risk from Blackmoorfoot Reservoir, the brook and drains, lack of play area and removal of industrial units.
Plans for a community cafe were queried, with the developer told a nursery or village hall was needed more than a not-for-profit cafe.
Clr Molly Walton said she would abstain, although she agreed with the deferral, and summed up: “It’s obvious they’re short of money and are trying to put a package together to please us.”
Councillors voted nine to six in favour of deferral.