THOUSANDS of new homes could be built in green belt areas south of Huddersfield.
Kirklees Council has been told by the Government it has to build 37,000 extra homes by 2026.
And council officials claim that the only way to meet the target is to swallow up existing green belt land.
Some 7,000 homes could be created around villages across south Kirklees, stretching from the Holme Valley across to Denby Dale.
The council also has announced plans to create new business developments and will again be targetting some green belt land, as well as brownfield sites formerly used for industry.
Both issues are now to be put out for public consultation, with a series of meetings planned for the next four weeks.
People will be asked to examine four options.
New housing and employment in and around Huddersfield and Dewsbury centres.
Make new land available for businesses to relocate.
Identify areas of green belt for housing and employment – particularly in the south of Huddersfield.
Create new housing close to main towns, with industry planned for adjacent areas.
The consultation will run from next Monday until April 3.
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “We really have to take seriously how we can best provide new homes and jobs for local people. Future generations cannot be left without jobs and housing.
“We are keen to increase the supply of affordable housing and social housing for rent. There is a potential for up to 30,000 jobs to be created in the future.
“The new cabinet is keen to listen to people on how they see these things. We want to hear people’s ideas, views and alternatives.”
Deputy council leader Clr Kath Pinnock said: “These four options are only a demonstration of the possible ways that we could plan for change. We have to get the debate started and the All Party Working Group that has helped shape these for discussion felt they offered a good basis for consultation.
“Having listened to the balance of feedback, the council will, over the summer, establish a preferred option which could include some of the best ideas from all of the options currently up for debate, to put to Government for approval.”
The moves form part of the Government’s future planning, drawn up in May last year, and are set to deal with a big predicted increase in the number of single people needing homes as well as a population growth.