RESIDENTS should be given more time to respond to an ambitious house-building plan, an MP has said.
Dewsbury’s Simon Reevell yesterday called on Kirklees Council to extend its consultation on the Local Development Framework (LDF).
Officers have compiled a detailed proposal to deal with population growth in the next 15 years.
The LDF proposes increasing housing numbers by more than a fifth in Kirkburton, Holmfirth, Linthwaite, Scissett and Clayton West; Denby Dale, Skelmanthorpe and Dewsbury.
Kirklees started consulting residents on the plan from last December and will continue until February 6.
But Mr Reevell yesterday called on the council to extend the process.
The Conservative MP made the suggestion after attending a meeting in Scissett last week where all 120 people present said they had not received their consultation information through the post.
Mr Reevell said: “These proposals are causing quite a lot concern locally and I think it’s only right that people are given the opportunity to express their opinion.
“I have asked the leader of the council to extend the consultation so that people can gather their thoughts, take in what is being proposed and work out what their response will be.
“I don’t think it was sensible to include Christmas and the New Year in the consultation period and I hope that common sense will prevail and we can have a proper conversation about these very serious proposals.”
The Examiner asked Kirklees yesterday to respond to Mr Reevell’s comments.
The council’s press office replied with a slightly shortened version of a statement which it had produced a week earlier in response to a different request for information about the LDF consultation.
Yesterday’s statement read: “This current phase of consultation began on December 7 and will continue until February 6, giving people nine weeks to respond to the proposals.
“The council considers that a nine-week period offers sufficient opportunity for people and organisations to read about the proposals, attend meetings in their local area and submit their views.
“To give the maximum number of people a chance to have their say, an information leaflet explaining the proposals and giving details about how to make comments was delivered to every household across Kirklees in early December. This is also available in most council buildings.
“In the interests of efficiency we encourage people to submit their views using the website, but our information leaflets advise that we can also accept comments in writing or via email.
“There are a series of special sessions hosted at Town and Valley Committees underway across the district during January and February, where planning specialists will explain the proposals in detail and answer questions. Details of these meetings can be found at www.kirklees.gov.uk/jobsandhomes.
“This is an open and inclusive consultation process and all residents, including elected members, are encouraged to join in by submitting their views.”
Meanwhile, Huddersfield residents have the chance to learn more about the LDF later this month.
The council’s Huddersfield Committee will discuss the plan at its meeting on January 26.
Greenhead Labour woman Clr Barbara Jones, who chairs the committee, said: “The public will receive a warm welcome to the meeting which will provide one of the many opportunities available to comment on the LDF.”
The meeting starts at 7pm at Huddersfield Town Hall.
The committee covers the Kirklees wards of Almondbury, Ashbrow, Crosland Moor and Netherton; Dalton, Greenhead, Lindley and Newsome.