COUNCILLORS have finally backed plans for a new fire station in Rastrick.
It will be built on greenfield land at the junction of Clough Lane and Slade Lane, and will replace the stations in Brighouse and Elland which will close.
The planning application was heard by Calderdale councillors yesterday after twice being deferred.
At the meeting David Collins, who said he was speaking on behalf of 40 Rastrick residents, said: “This is a greenfield site, there are brownfield sites nearby the owner has said they are willing to make available should this application for development in the greenbelt be refused.
“It will impact on the houses locally.
“All residents in Clough Lane object to the application on the present site – not to a new fire station in Rastrick.”
Mr Collins said the development put at risk the bats, great crested newts, protected species of bird and bluebells on the site.
Rastrick resident Nick Midgley described the design of the fire station as “disjointed” saying it “dwarfs most of the neighbours”.
He also criticised the planning process for not releasing all information within the public consultation timeframe, saying it could lead to a judicial review.
Clr Pat Allen, an Elland ward member, spoke as the land lies within her ward.
She said: “I don’t for one minute think that this is the correct site for a fire station.
“At the weekend when we had all the snow there were cars all over the road, the land does flood.
“And there’s a Roman road that nobody seems to be interested in.”
Thirty-four people opposed the application, with concerns ranging from traffic worries to fears of a new motorway junction at Rastrick.
Mark Lane, the planning agent for the fire service, said the amalgamation of Brighouse and Elland fire stations was needed to rationalise fire service provision.
He said: “We looked at various sites none of which satisfied the needs of the fire service or were available.
“The fire service is accustomed to operating in residential areas and operates sympathetically to noise concerns.”
He said the new fire station will have one main fire engine, a back up appliance and the water rescue boat. There would be bedroom facilities for eight and training facilities.
Councillors were unanimous in backing the fire station.