You’ll have to take us to court if you want a planning u-turn, Kirklees Council says.
That’s the response of the council after a series of car crashes at the entrance to a planned housing estate in Flockton sparked calls for a review of the proposal.
Villagers were surprised when council highways officials said they were happy with Persimmon homes’ plan to build the entrance to a new estate next to a bottle neck on the main road – a busy route to the M1.
The 46-home plan at Flockton Hall Farm, off Barnsley Road, will have access points either side of the chicane at the entrance to the village.
Planning permission was given at the third attempt last December with highways officers admitting it was “not ideal” but claiming it was not dangerous.
But following a nasty smash at the chicane earlier this month, one resident called for a re-think.
John Goldthorpe said it was “wholly ridiculous” to put houses at the narrowest point in the village and highlighted at least four other crashes nearby, including one at the chicane last August.
He urged Kirklees to have another look at the plan.
But a council spokesperson said it would not be doing so unless someone took them to court.
They said: “The decision to approve planning permission for 46 houses in Flockton was taken by the Heavy Woollen Planning Committee.
“They took into account highway safety concerns raised by local residents and objectors.
“Planning permission cannot be revisited by the council once the Decision Notice has been issued.
“The only way to remove planning permission is through the judicial review process in court.”
Mr Goldthorpe responded: “How convenient it is that the only way to appeal a council decision is to go through a complex and expensive judicial review – a process totally inaccessible to the general public based on cost.
“Despite their statement, I’ve seen no evidence the council has taken account of the road safety concerns raised by residents.
“The council have neglected their duty of care here.
“As a minimum they should have held the developer and the developers of the two other approved plans in Flockton by way of Section 106 to providing financial contributions to improved road safety.”
Kirklees Council has agreed a Section 106 agreement with Persimmon but it does not include anything for highway improvements.
The developer will be contributing £131,000 to be split between two local schools, £70,000 for drainage upgrades, £20,000 for creating a small park and £22,000 for a subsidised bus pass scheme for residents.