CAMPAIGNERS who successfully opposed plans to build on disused mill ponds are facing a fresh fight to protect them.
Kirklees Council last year rejected a planning application by Bloor Homes to build 28 houses and flats on land between Newsome Road, Hart Street and Naomi Road in Newsome.
But the company has now lodged an appeal with Government watchdog the Planning Inspectorate.
They claim housing on the site is preferable to using green belt land.
Action group Newsome Ward Community Forum opposed the original planning application.
Marketing and campaigns co-ordinator Diane Sims said: “We were half expecting them to appeal, but we are still very disappointed because there’s such high demand for that land to be used by the local community.
“They don’t seem to have taken that into account and don’t seem to respect that it’s part of the Newsome Mill site.
“People feel quite strongly about it because it’s a key part of our local history.”
Objectors to the original plans were worried that they would have an impact on the grade II-listed mill.
They were also concerned that it would harm local wildlife, cause congestion problems and potentially lead to flooding in properties in Newsome and Primrose Hill.
The community forum wants the greenfield land site, which used to be an allotment, to be set aside for residents to be able to grow their own food once again.
Members say there is demand for one of the ponds to be used for fishing.
Newsome ward’s Green councillors are set to oppose the appeal.
Clr Andrew Cooper said: “What the company is concerned about is trying to extract as much value out of the land as they can by building houses to make money.
“That’s their objective.
“My objective is to ensure that land is not used because it will affect water courses and could end up flooding local cellars.
“There is also the issue of the land’s value to the community as a possible resource, for which it would be much better suited, and the wildlife that uses it”.
Alister Sykes, a Bloor Homes spokesman, said: “In recent days the Examiner has been running articles about the council’s plans to find more housing sites across the district.
“Many of those proposed sites are green field and every one has been the subject of major objection – including one at Hall Bower. Here in the centre of Newsome we have a previously used site right next to shops, doctor’s surgery, school and church. It is a perfect location for desperately needed new homes.
“The council’s decision to refuse consent was, in our view, a nonsense and so reluctantly we must take the matter to an independent higher authority,” Mr Sykes added.