SPEAKING of the Holmfirth Tesco decision, I was struck within 20 minutes of the meeting starting just how civilised it was.
My template for this year’s great planning ding-dong was last year’s great planning ding-dong – the Lindley Moor controversy.
For those who can’t remember, this was the long-running debate about whether the fields next to the M62 should be developed for housing and industry.
Last year’s four-hour meeting about Lindley Moor got rather ragged, particularly in the last hour with residents angrily denouncing Kirklees officers, councillors and – Heaven forfend – even this humble columnist.
By the end there was so much bickering going on that the meeting resembled an Eastenders Christmas special.
Yet last week’s debate about Tesco’s plan to build a new supermarket in Holmfirth – an equally emotive proposal – couldn’t have been more different.
There were no angry speeches, no heckling and no personal attacks. Those against made their case, those for made their case, the councillors debated and then they all voted against the proposal.
The winning side applauded politely, the losers looked on a little ruefully.
Why this huge difference in atmosphere between the two meetings? Well, I’m sure a few people from the Holme Valley would say this is further proof that Holmfirth residents are more civilised than Huddersfield folk.
I’m not going near that one.
But I will say that there could be a clue in the scores on the doors. Lindley Moor passed by eight votes to seven. Holmfirth Tesco was knocked back 13-0.
It seems that people don’t mind winning and they don’t really mind losing either. It’s the not knowing that gets under their skin.