THE green fields of Huddersfield could be swamped by new homes.
That’s the view of Kirklees Council leader Robert Light, who fears for the future of both village and urban communities.
He made the stark warning as he revealed the number of new homes in Kirklees could double.
Clr Light believes new Government house building plans will “decimate” the district’s Green Belt.
He said: “We are already being asked to provide land for over 22,000 new houses by 2021 – which is proving almost impossible to deliver.
“But now the Labour Government want us to double it and provide more than 40,000 by 2026. This amounts to 2,000 houses a year across the district.”
Clr Light said this new building would effect both urban and rural parts of Kirklees.
He said: “Areas like Dewsbury and Batley could see all remaining Green Belt land built on and there would be a huge expansion of Huddersfield. Rural villages will also face the threat of large developments.”
The Conservative councillor does not believe the target can be met without damaging the countryside.
He said: “The Government demands are unachievable and unrealistic without decimating the Green Belt and filling up the area’s flood plains.”
Clr Light added that demand for more housing was fuelled by immigration and marriage breakdown.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced plans for three million new homes by 2020, up 250,000 on the previous plan.
By 2016 the annual target for new homes in England would rise from 200,000 to 240,000.
Altogether three million homes should be built by 2020, 60% of them on brownfield land. Restrictions on using the greenbelt will not be relaxed.
However, the Green Paper has already come under fire for failing to rule out further construction on flood plains, despite devastation caused by the recent extreme weather.
Instead it claims that a ‘robust planning policy which incorporates the latest climate change predictions’ will allow risks to be managed ‘without preventing development that has significant wider social and economic benefits.’”
Housing Minister Yvette Cooper told the Commons the Government wanted decent homes: “For the many, not the few”, but there was ’no quick fix’ to the problem.
She added: “Taken together these proposals represent not just the most significant programme of house building for decades, but an ambitious, positive response to the growing challenges that many people face in their day to day lives.”