A DEVELOPER has denied making threats to withdraw its support for good causes after councillors refused to endorse a controversial retirement village plan.
Conroy Brook has been accused of threatening Holme Valley Parish Council after it refused to back the company’s plan for retirement homes at Prickleden Mills, Holmfirth.
But Conroy Brook director, Ivan Conroy, said he was ‘expressing frustration’ after the parish council rejected four of the company’s planning applications.
Mr Conroy added neither he nor his company would make threats.
Kirklees Councillors will decide whether to approve a separate Conroy Brook application – for 29 homes on an Upperthong meadow – later today.
Despite the parish council’s disapproval, Conroy Brook’s proposal for the 46-home retirement village was approved by Kirklees Council last year.
In the letter to the parish council, Mr Conroy said its objection may affect the company’s charitable activities and local sponsorships.
The letter, dated May 2, 2012, said: “There is no doubt objection at parish council level brings into doubt our future policy for the whole of our local charitable activities, with particular regards to our various and numerous local sponsorships.”
The letter added: “You should also consider the impact on much needed economic activity, employment and our goodwill going forward.”
The parish council forwarded the letter to Kirklees Council’s legal department over concerns that comments in the letter had put the parish council in an ‘invidious’ position.
Mr Conroy admitted he had become ‘frustrated’ with the parish council, but denied he or his company had made or would make threats.
He said: “As four of our previous planning applications had also been recommended for refusal by the parish council I was naturally upset and frustrated as all were on allocated development land and in my opinion should have been supported. My letter clearly stated why and on what grounds they should have given their support.
“My mention of charitable works that we continue to be involved with was mentioned in frustration with my natural thoughts at that time that goodwill only seemed to be going one way.”
Mr Conroy added: “We wouldn’t threaten anyone and if it’s construed as a threat, it’s nonsense and was never intended that way.”
l Residents group Upperthong Needs Development Opposed (UNDO) is concerned Conroy Brook’s Upperthong plan would lead to traffic congestion on Upperthong Lane, Holme View Avenue and other surrounding roads.
A spokesperson for UNDO said: “This planning application has now been recommended for approval [by Kirklees Council] despite a significant local outcry, the site being declared ‘not particularly sustainable’ by the highways authority and a previous application for only one additional dwelling being rejected by the Secretary of State.”