PLANS to build a children's hospice at Lindley Moor have been given a stunning thumbs-down by planning officials.

Kirklees Council officials have recommended the application by the West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust be refused when councillors meet to make a decision tomorrow.

The proposal to build a seven-bed hospice with accommodation for up to five families off Old Lindley Road is recommended for rejection because it involves the use of Green Belt land.

The site is within yards of the busy M62.

In a report, officers said they did not believe special circumstances would justify development of the protected site.

They also expressed concern that the building would intrude on open views of the countryside and described access to the site - next to Gypsy Road - as "sub-standard".

But today the trust's chairman of trustees, Geoffrey Firth, appealed for councillors to reject the recommendation.

He said: "I am asking them to think with their hearts and not with their heads.

"It is an issue that many people support and want us to win.

"The hospice will meet the needs of families with children suffering life-threatening illnesses who have the stress and trauma of looking after a child 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"We are offering them a respite centre where they can take their children for a break which is secure and where they can get the care they need.

"Those are the special circumstances we want them to consider."

Councillors will decide whether to grant permission when the planning committee meets at Huddersfield Town Hall tomorrow.

The trust's campaign to raise money to build the £4m hospice - which would serve about 280 families in Kirklees and Calderdale - was launched in 1998.

It was founded by Linda Senior, mother of twins Tom and Russell Shepherd.

Russell needs specialist care and has had dozens of operations.

At present, families have to travel to Wetherby or Manchester for respite care.

About £500,000 has already been raised for the appeal and fundraisers will be able to apply for lottery funding once a suitable site has been found.

The proposed one-storey building would stand next to the former orphanage Gypsy Pond, now owned and used as a home and workshop by James Pare.

Mr Pare had arranged to sell the land to the trust at a reduced rate.