Councillors at a planning meeting branded a traffic report as “wrong”, “crazy” and “stupid.”
Councillors at a meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee at Huddersfield Town Hall attacked both developers and their own officials amid pressure to give the green light to the controversial revamp.
Sheffield-based Prospect Estates wants permission for a 23-bed hotel in the Grade II listed mill, 48 houses, 16 apartments, a restaurant and offices at the green belt site.
Elected members expressed disbelief at a report that claimed the huge development would generate less traffic than the old Westwood Yarns mill did.
But Kirklees’ highways officials said they had no issue with the report.
Clr Nigel Patrick said he was “incredulous” that Kirklees highways chiefs believed the report.
“Nobody on this planet can believe that,” he said. “It’s just wrong.”
Clr Ken Sims added: “I despair with our highways department, I don’t think they’re on the same planet as me, I really don’t.”
Clr Donald Firth went even further.
“That is crazy,” he commented.
“These clowns who have done this assessment, whoever’s paid for it, they want their money back. It’s just stupidity,” he added.
Charles Woodcock, speaking for the Neighbours of Washpit group, described the Choppards Bank Road exit from the site to Dunford Road as “almost suicidally dangerous.”
He said all the local roads into the mill were “totally inadequate” to cope with the traffic visiting the new hotel and apartments.
He said: “We have ancient single track, sunken lanes, dangerous pinch points, oblique angle junctions, blind bends, blind summits, and most are subject to constant flooding. Many have no drains whatsoever. All are totally without pedestrian walkways.”
Clr Andrew Pinnock said he did believe the traffic figures.
He added: “If you don’t do anything it will become an eyesore, that’s not a threat, it’s just a fact.”
With the plan being more than a year old, the developer has taken the unusual step of lodging an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate before Kirklees Council has decided what to do.
But councillors refused to be strong-armed, saying the application still lacked vital information.
“Why are we having our arms twisted behind our backs?” asked committee chairman, Clr Steve Hall.
“No way am I having anybody pushing and shoving me with threats to go to the inspector.”
Clr Paul Kane said: “I think it’s appalling the way they want to steamroller this through.”
Councillors unanimously agreed to defer the plan until more information is available.