THE FIGHT to save local green land has taken to the internet.
And a Facebook group called ‘Save Slaithwaite!’, opposing plans to build hundreds of new homes in the village, has attracted 300 members in little over a week.
Resident Robert Newton-Howes set up the group as concern grew over plans for big housing developments around the area.
He said: “I was only expecting a couple of dozen members, but it just goes to show that the strength of feeling is so, so high.”
In February Kirklees Council began public consultation on Local Development Framework (LDF) plans to build 37,000 new homes between 2011 and 2026.
Four potential options have been drafted – but all include 400 new houses in Slaithwaite.
The residents’ group especially objects to two sites in the village which are currently green land, but would be redesignated as “provisional open land”, to be used in future housing developments.
The aim of the Facebook group is to find candidates in European, council and parliamentary elections who oppose the proposals.
Mr Newton-Howes said: “We have invited all candidates for upcoming elections to join the group and give their views, so we know where we stand irrespective of our normal views.
“We are non-political, but our aim is to advise people to vote for the candidate who has the clearest idea how to oppose the plans.
“The country is in such a pickle that it makes little difference in national terms who we vote for, but this is a huge local issue which will decide who we support.”
The LDF comes from a Government initiative designed to boost commerce and industry in the region by building new homes and using about 250 hectares of land for new jobs.
Once introduced the framework will affect how all planning applications and proposed developments are treated.
Mr Newton-Howes said: “Obviously the European elections on June 4 are our upcoming priority, but as these plans will have such a lasting impact on the village we will continue after that.”
Kirklees Council is due to announce later this year which of its plans will get the go-ahead.
Information on the four options is available at libraries, town halls and information centres as well as on www.kirklees.gov.uk/localdevelopment