The war between villagers and a beleaguered charity has heated up over accusations of undemocratic behaviour.
Neighbours of land at Sude Hill Terrace – earmarked for development by Holme Valley Land Charity – have reported the charity to a council watchdog over allegations that the charity has refused to discuss residents’ concerns.
The charity hopes to build two semi-detached houses on the plot but neighbours, who have used the land for parking and recreation, have devised an alternative ‘community garden’ plan.
Villagers have reported the charity to Kirklees Council’s monitoring officer which adjudicates on alleged misconduct of Kirklees and parish councillors.
But residents, led by John Cullaigh, have urged the charity, run by members of Holme Valley Parish Council, to meet them at a public meeting.
Mr Cullaigh said: “We hope Holme Valley Land Charity (HVLC) will meet us for a meaningful dialogue.
“The charity is made up from members of a democratic body.They are hiding behind their charity status.
“The Land Charity is supposed to be accountable to the parish council but we have seen very little of that.”
Mr Cullaigh added: “We’re also encouraging people who have had dealings with the Land Charity to come and discuss their experiences with us.”
Meanwhile, the Examiner has learned that Holme Valley Parish Councillor – and HVLC chairman – Greg Cropper has lodged a complaint with the Planning Inspectorate.
The complaint is thought to allege that Kirklees Council has taken too long to consider the Sude Hill Terrace application.
A decision on the application was delayed by the council on June 11 because Holme Valley South councillors Ken Sims and Nigel Patrick, due to speak at the meeting, had another council meeting to attend.
The Examiner contacted Mr Cropper. He declined to comment.
The row over the Sude Hill plan is the latest in a series of problems for HVLC.
HVLC was set up in 2009 to sell plots of land – mostly former quarries – to raise money for good causes in Holme Valley.
But the charity has been forced to give several plots back and has lost three legal disputes.
It has also been rapped by the Information Commissioner and Trading Standards and has been involved in a number of land ownership disputes.
Following objections from neighbours, HVLC adjusted its Sude Hill plans by moving the proposed houses back slightly on the site.