THE fight against plans to develop 5,000 houses in Denby Dale and Kirkburton has got the backing of the area’s future potential MP.
Shahid Malik has vowed to campaign against plans to build more homes in the towns which will come under the Dewsbury constituency at the next General Election.
The proposals suggest building in rural areas as part of the Kirklees Local Development Framework – which has four options for the future use of land throughout Kirklees.
Mr Malik, the MP for Dewsbury, believes the plans would have a “devastating impact” on the rural communities.
The Justice Minister met with members of the Skelmanthorpe Community Action Group and the Save Our Scissett groups.
He said: “We are unanimous in our belief that option three is completely unacceptable and I have given a firm commitment that I will fight it come what may.
“The idea that you double Skelmanthorpe with an additional 2,400 houses and then increase by 800 the number of homes in Clayton West and Scissett is a scandal and would have a devastating impact on the local environment, infrastructure and community.”
Kirklees Council is looking at ways to revitalise land for new homes and businesses over the next 15 years.
Based on government estimates Kirklees may need space for 37,000 more homes and about 250 hectares of land for new jobs.
Four options have been put forward by the council – with option three identifying green belts areas for housing and employment.
Mr Malik is discussing large-scale housing renewal in Dewsbury.
But he believes it would not be suitable for Skelmanthorpe, Scissett or Clayton West.
“We must focus on ensuring there is adequate housing for older people and that young people are not forced out of the area due to a lack of affordable homes.
“There is no benefit in building thousands of homes that would be snapped up by commuters when what local people are crying out for is sensible development and affordable housing that would give young people in the villages more opportunities to remain near their families.”
Residents have welcomed his input.
Ronnie Motram of SOS said: “All options appear to put too much pressure on the fields surrounding our village and would adversely affect the character of the area.”
Kirklees residents can submit their views about the four options before April 3.