Villagers in Netherton have been warned to accept a local plan which could allow 350 homes to built on nearby green belt – or face worse from Westminster.

The proposed Kirklees Local Plan could allow up to 358 homes to be built on fields off Netherton Moor Road and Henry Frederick Avenue, Netherton.

Villagers packed into Netherton Methodist Church to discuss how to block the plan, which will allow 29,000 homes to be built in Kirklees by 2031.

But Crosland Moor and Netherton councillor Molly Walton warned villagers that resisting the plan could be lead to direct Government intervention which would be worse for the borough.

Addressing a heated crowd Clr Walton said: “The Government has a target of 1m homes by 2031 and we have to play our part in that.

“They are not my constraints. They are not the council’s. They are the Government’s and we have to follow them.”

The Local Plan has been controversial because it identifies green belt areas for development. Development on green belt areas had previous been discouraged and strictly controlled.

But Clr Walton said: “We don’t have enough land to build on without going into the green belt.

“I don’t like going into green belt.”

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But the Labour member added: “If we don’t identify sites of land than the Government will come and do it for us and we don’t want that.”

However, other speakers at the meeting including Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney encouraged villagers to resist development on the Netherton green belt sites.

The Conservative MP said: “We have a fantastic opportunity to shape this local plan and I want to make sure we get a local plan that reflects our issues.

“I will be putting in my objections.”

Mr McCartney added that Kirklees Council should attempt to bring empty properties and brownfield sites into use to reduce the need to develop greenfield sites.

He added that Kirklees Council should speak to neighbouring local authorities to develop a ‘wider regional view’.

The Local Plan reveals the locations which Kirklees Council plans to make available for building thousands of homes over the next 15 years.

Every area in the borough has been analysed for its suitability as the council bids to encourage developers to build the 29,000 homes it needs.

Approximately 10,000 of those homes are on sites already earmarked – but the remaining 20,000 look set to be constructed on around 200 sites across Kirklees.

Take a look at other land marked for development below.