MEMBERS of an action group fear “the jewel in the crown” of green belt land could be built on.

Members of the Clifton Action Group are concerned they will lose up to 104 acres of green belt land to development as part of Calderdale Council’s Local Plan.

A major consultation is underway to shape future development and the Examiner has already revealed that as part of the Local Plan around 800 new homes could be built every year in Calderdale until 2026.

At a meeting of the Clifton Action Group Committee residents expressed concerns about development.

Howard Blagbrough, chairman for the action group, said: “The group members noted that as far as Clifton is concerned, the threat still exists to build on what is currently green belt land on either side of Thornhills Lane – 500 houses on 32 acres to the west, and on the eastern side of the lane a further development of 12 acres, consisting of industrial units, offices and an undisclosed number of houses, also an additional one acre of green belt land being taken for 20 houses opposite the Armytage Arms.

“Add to this the area, one which is often referred to by the council as “the jewel in the crown” being 60 acres of green field land, bounded by Wakefield Road, Coal Pit Lane and Clifton Common, to create an office park with a potential for a 2,200 workforce.

“In the 90’s, Calderdale Council themselves were happy for this land to remain in green belt however, their own decision was overturned by a Government inspector in 1997 for the land to become an office park.

“If all of the above schemes were to go ahead, it would add up to a massive, unacceptable 104 acres of development in the Clifton area.”

The group believes any development and subsequent traffic would “seize up” Brighouse and the roads in and out of the town.

“The residents of Clifton should seriously ask themselves, what does the area need? Certainly not more traffic congestion than at present,” Howard added.

“If the above proposals went ahead, Brighouse would literally seize up. Brighouse, Clifton and Thornhills will be unable to sustain all this development.

“These developments and the systematic encroachment onto green belt and open spaces will have a devastating effect on the town and change its character forever to the detriment of all residents.”

The group is urging residents to find out more and put their views, whether in support or opposition, to the council. To join the group contact David or Em Armitage on 01484 716034.

A further public meeting takes place next Monday, December 3 (6.30pm-8.30pm), at the Mulberry Suite at Brighouse High School’s Sixth Form, for residents to find out more about the Local Plan.