A LANDOWNER wants to build hundreds of homes in the greenbelt.
Thornhill Estates has proposed a huge commercial and residential development at Ainley Top.
Kirklees Council wants to allow 200 new homes in the area as part of its controversial Local Development Framework (LDF).
But Thornhill has suggest quadrupling this to 800 houses. The exact location is not known.
The landowner also wants to develop a five-hectare site at Ainley Top which it says would create 750 jobs and attract £180m of investment.
The ambitious proposal came in a submission made during this year’s consultation on the LDF – a blueprint for 28,000 new homes in the district by 2028.
Jonathan Dunbavin, director of ID Planning, wrote a 20-page document on behalf of Thornhill spelling out the landowner’s plan for the so-called Northern Gateway development.
He explained that 800 homes were needed at Ainley Top to make the commercial development viable.
“It is considered that a larger quantum of housing than the 200 units is required in order to achieve the critical mass to ensure the development achieves its objectives,” he wrote.
“In this context, it is considered that a larger release of greenbelt land at Ainley Top will be required to deliver the overall vision, the total number of houses being in the region of 800.”
Mr Dunbavin also suggested that the range of businesses allowed to set up on the five-hectare employment site should be broadened.
Kirklees wants the land to be used for offices, light industry or research and development.
But Mr Dunbavin suggested widening this to include “hotel and leisure, health and fitness and small-scale retail amongst others.”
He added that the commercial development would attract £180m of investment and create “a front door and shop window for Kirklees”.
Thornhill’s proposal also includes a new country park and improvements to the Ainley Top roundabout and Halifax Road.
Leeds-based ID Planning is involved in another controversial development in the area – the proposal to build a data centre on part of Lindley Moor.
The agent, acting for the company Stirling Scotfield, won planning permission for the development after a stormy four-hour planning meeting earlier this month.
A spokesman for Thornhill Estates said last night: “Kirklees Council is in the process of replacing its Unitary Development Plan with a new Local Development Framework.
“This offers landowners and developers the opportunity to put forward land not currently designated for development for future consideration.
“At this stage, nothing has been designated by the council.
“We, along with numerous other landowners and developers, have put forward representations for inclusion in the new Local Development Framework. We are asking the council to consider land holdings for future allocation but no decision has been made by the council and consultation is ongoing.”
The Northern Gateway is one of several greenbelt sites earmarked for development.
Kirklees has also proposed building a total of 700 homes in Bradley and Almondbury. There would also be 200 new houses on protected land in Honley, 2,300 in south Dewsbury and 200 at Chidswell outside Batley.
Council officials are yet to reveal the exact location of the green belt sites which have been earmarked for development.
Kirklees Cabinet will consider the LDF proposals later this year before the blueprint goes to full council.