KIRKLEES is running out of land for industry, a leading council official has said.
John Griffiths, head of the council's economic development service, said there was a big shortage of sites for business development.
He said: "The main demand for sites over the years has been from local companies looking to expand.
"We have not been trying to compete in the international investment market.
"However, we are now running out of that land."
Mr Griffiths said that Kirklees - following the launch of business parks at sites at Bradley Road, Bradley, and at Thornhill, Dewsbury - now had "very limited" land available for further development.
Mr Griffiths was speaking at a meeting of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Kirklees area council.
Chamber members said they were concerned about Government proposals to allow local authorities to use more "brownfield" land for low-cost housing.
Local authorities are already instructed to promote housing on brownfield sites rather than greenfield land. New proposals would allow planners to allocate industrial or commercial land for housing or mixed-use development - unless a convincing case against such a move could be made.
Chamber member Howard Webster welcomed schemes to turn former textile mills into housing complexes.
"Common sense has to apply. If we want to be a modern, efficient and competitive, local authorities will have to use their discretion to ensure there are enough brownfield sites for business."
Member Richard Smith said: "There has to be flexibility. Some sites are far more suitable for housing than industry, but some industrial land is inappropriate for housing."
Mr Griffiths said converting mills to housing had helped to keep examples of the district's industrial heritage in use.
But he said the council would be unhappy about any pressure for housing to encroach on "prime" industrial land - such as the tract of land stretching from Longroyd Bridge to Leeds Road.