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Plans for 4,000 new homes near Mirfield 'slipped under radar'

Chartered accountant Marcus Jessop warns town will count cost if Local Plan is approved

A chartered accountant has launched a web-based campaign to fight plans for a ‘new town’ which he says would see countryside and woodland destroyed forever.

Marcus Jessop, 43, of Mirfield, lives close to rolling countryside where Kirklees Council wants to build a staggering 4,000 new homes.

Dad-of-one Marcus said the scheme, put forward under the council’s proposed Local Plan, had “slipped under the radar” despite its massive scale.

The land is off Sands Lane, Mirfield, near to Dewsbury District Golf Club, and stretches out through Ravensthorpe towards Ravensthorpe Road, Thornhill Lees.

READ MORE: People power: 17,000 comments and complaints lodged about Kirklees Local Plan

Marcus said because the site is referred to as Ravensthorpe, few in Mirfield have realised the impact of 4,000 new homes on the town’s doorstep.

“The council has tried to slip this under the radar,” said Marcus. “It’s a massive scheme and it’s almost scary that most people aren’t aware of it.

“It’s going to be dramatic and will merge Mirfield, Ravensthorpe and Thornhill Lees into one.

Fields off Sands Lane, Mirfield, Clr Martyn Bolt (right) with Marcus Jessop campaigner for horses not houses.

“Anyone who uses the A644 Huddersfield Road and who tries to get in and out of Mirfield at peak times will know how bad the traffic is now never mind with another 4,000 homes.”

Marcus has little experience of campaigning but last month built his own website, www.horsesnothouses.com , and set up an online petition. He is also promoting his campaign on Facebook.

READ MORE: Shocking number of new homes planned for highest flood risk areas in Kirklees

READ MORE: Meltham residents object to planning for new homes

Walkers, ramblers and horse riders use the picturesque countryside and woodlands and Marcus says if the land is allocated for housing the historic Lady Wood could also be felled.

“I only launched this in March after knocking on the doors of my neighbours and finding nobody was aware of this,” he said.

“We want to put a stop to this now. Once it’s rubber-stamped as part of the Local Plan it’s game over and only a matter of time before it’s built on.

Fields off Sands Lane, Mirfield.

“Then when developers come in with plans people will be saying: ‘Why didn’t we know about this?’ But by then it will be too late.”

Public consultation on the Local Plan ended on February 1 and the council is now sifting through the representations before publishing its final draft later this year.

Then there will be another chance for public comments.

The Local Plan, a 15-year land allocation blueprint, could be adopted in 2018.

To find out more go to www.horsesnothouses.com



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