People have had their first look at what the controversial proposed Cummins factory will look like ... and it has divided opinion.
The factory may be built alongside the M62 at Ainley Top and the artist’s impression shows its vast scale.
Cummins Turbo Technologies invited residents to a public consultation over its proposal.
Some described the plan as “ridiculous”, another said she was “gutted”, while others said they were pleased to see the company committing its future to West Yorkshire.
Cummins has identified green belt land bounded by Brighouse Road, New Hey Road and the motorway as the site for its proposed 18,600sq metre facility to replace its ageing factory at Turnbridge.
The new factory will replace the manufacturing premises on the left side of St Andrew’s Road as you head towards the John Smith’s Stadium. This will be demolished and the 24,000sq metres of land sold.
At a four-hour public consultation event at the Cedar Court Hotel, many residents expressed their dismay at the plan.
Kelly Bourne, simply said she was “gutted” to find out about the proposal next to her home of nine years.
“It will back up to our garden wall,” she said.
“There’s all the disruption while it’s being constructed and then we’ll have shift workers coming and going at 9pm.
“Yes, we have the hum of the motorway but this is above and beyond that.”
Kelly’s partner, Steven Wilby, said he had attempted to buy some of the land Cummins are hoping to use and had been turned down and told there was no chance of getting planning permission.
Village resident Paul Wood said Cummins should stay put in Huddersfield and re-develop its existing site.
“They’re saying they can’t re-develop because it’s too expensive,” he said. “They could build on their car park and do it in phases.
“They should stay on their own site and stay off green belt land. They’re not creating any more jobs, they’re just re-locating.”
Villagers Catherine Nethercoat and Sandra Prest also raised concerns about the values of their homes.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Sandra. “It’s a residential area and it’s green belt. It will look totally out of place.
“I’m sure there’s other areas to build on and why can’t they build on their existing site?
“It will also de-value our homes, which is quite a concern.”
Catherine added: “I’m worried about the impact on the quality of our lives.
“It’s already very busy with traffic in this area. That can only get worse if this gets built.”
Ainley Top couple Jack and Sue Coopland said they had mixed emotions over the plan.
Jack said: “We do need the jobs – it would be very selfish at my age to stop youngsters from having apprenticeships and jobs that this company provides.
“I don’t want the work going abroad. I want the jobs to stay here in Huddersfield.”
Wife Sue added: “But it will affect a residential area.”
Cummins spokesman Mark Prior said he had heard a range of views from locals during the session but accepted many would have worries about it.
“There’s some concerns about traffic, which is understandable, and visual impact,” he said. “Some people are accepting it and not everyone is unhappy.
“We want to work with people who are near the plan as there are things we can do to block the view of the factory.
“If we work together we can come up with the optimum solution for everyone.”
Cummins is working with Thornhill Estates, owner of the land, to submit a planning application to Calderdale Council.
If it is given the green light about 400 jobs currently based at St Andrew’s Road will transfer to the new plant. The aim is for the move to start in 2017 and take several months.
St Andrew’s Road will remain home to the firm’s technical centre and will continue to employ about 600 people in areas such as research and development, after-market operations and business support.