Residents have rallied against plans for new housing in Holmfirth, saying the roads cannot cope with more traffic.
A meeting at Underbank WMC last night saw people raise concerns about John and Janet Armitage’s plans for 14 houses off Vicarage Meadows in Cinderhills, plus five houses on land adjacent to Underbank End Road.
They say the narrow Cinder Hills Road is already overwhelmed with traffic; the existing sewers are overloaded; plus they criticised claims in a planning report about a local shop to serve the new houses, when the shop closed two years ago.
Barry Bedford said: “The lanes were formed for horse and cart, there is not enough room for the cars that currently use it, so to add more will cause problems and I can’t see how it can be resolved.
“The architect in their report says people will walk into Holmfirth town centre to do their shopping, well they won’t walk back up the long hill with their heavy shopping bags.”
Residents also criticised a statement in the application’s report about a local shop.
The report states: “...it should be noted that within approximately 300m of the site lies the Willow Bank Stores on Cinderhills Road. Willow Bank Stores is a modern purpose built arrangement which until relatively recently provided general store and off licence opportunities. Although the store has recently closed its future as a shop is not known and if re-opened this would provide a very local facility for the development site.”
Mr Bedford says: “The shop has been shut for two years and there’s no intention to revert it back into a shop anytime soon because it’s now someone’s front room, why make such a claim?”
The land for 14 houses is Provisional Open Land and Kirklees Council has lost a number of decisions to refuse housing on POL land due to it not having an up to date Local Plan and lack of five year housing land supply.
Meanwhile, opposition is growing to plans for 53 houses on land adjacent to Stoney Bank Lane, also in Holmfirth, which is also a POL site.
A resident, who asked not to be named, said: “This is yet another provisional open land site that is under threat in the Holme Valley, surely public opinion matters and alternatives for housing should be considered before areas of natural beauty and public amenity disappear.
“It appears that all land that is designated this way is ‘fair game’ for land owners or developers to maximise their land value whilst there is no current valid development plan in place for Kirklees Council.” A resident argues there are applications for 69 houses in the vicinity of Stoney Bank Road that have planning consent, adding another 53 will create more highways issues.
Residents also say brownfield sites are available, including the former Midlothian Garage site on New Mill Road which is to be sold by Tesco after they confirmed they were no longer interested in a store on the site.