Kirklees councillors say no to bid to develop pieces of greenbelt land at Grange Moor and Dewsbury

Grange Moor and Dewsbury applications thrown out

Kirklees Council
Kirklees Council

Bids to develop two plots of land in the greenbelt land were rejected by councillors.

Kirklees councillors dismissed Robert Gunn’s bid to build two houses on land adjacent to Grange Moor Garage, Wakefield Road, Grange Moor.

And they told a family they could not develop vacant land at Edge Road, Thornhill Edge, Dewsbury because of its greenbelt classification.

Councillors on the Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-Committee considered both applications at Dewsbury Town Hall yesterday.

They heard that, for the Grange Moor application, garage owner Mr Gunn, had not produced ‘very special circumstances’ to warrant the loss of the greenbelt, plus the appearance of the proposal would be out of keeping with the surrounding area.

Former Kirklees councillor Christine Smith, who stepped down last week, asked the committee to rule on the application, saying a gap in house numbers between two and 14 indicates a settlement.

And it was revealed that Kirklees had put a Tree Preservation Order on a tree on the site only a week ago as planning officers recommended councillors refuse the application.

Andy Rushby, for the applicant, said: “It’s an unusual move to make when it’s not been considered previously.”

Clr Elaine Ward, Denby Dale Conservative, said: “There is a new-build detached house 500m away that’s also in the greenbelt. There seems to be an inconsistency to how we apply greenbelt rules.”

Clr Graham Turner, Labour, Denby Dale, added: “This is greenbelt, it’s as simple as that and there is no reason this should be allowed.”

Clr John Lawson, Cleckheaton Lib Dem, added: “To allow development in the greenbelt there needs to be very special circumstances. It has to benefit the community, these two houses don’t meet that and just because there’s something else down the road doesn’t mean we should approve it.”

Councillors voted refusal.

They also rejected Dawn Smith’s bid to develop family-owned land in Thornhill Edge.

Mrs Smith, of Birdsedge, said: “This land as been passed through our family to provide homes for ourselves.”

She explained there were previously dwellings on the site and the foundations could still be seen on the site which is now being used for illegal flytipping.

The family won some support from Clr Cathy Scott, Dewsbury East Labour, who said: “A site visit was really helpful. I was quite surprised to still see foundations and there’s obviously been dwellings there. I don’t think this will have a detrimental impact on the site. If anything, it will enhance it.”

But its greenbelt designation proved troublesome as Clr Andrew Pinnock, Cleckheaton Lib Dem, summed up: “As with the other greenbelt applications there needs to be special circumstances. I would prefer this came back as we designated sites in the LDF as technical housing sites.”

A vote for the application was lost by one vote and the refusal was one by one vote.

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