WORK has started on building a controversial new cemetery in the shadow of Castle Hill just weeks after planning permission was granted on a cliffhanger vote.

A casting vote by the chairman was needed to swing the decision back in August following concerns over how mourners without vehicles would access the remote site.

Now work has finally begun.

A spokeswoman for Kirklees Council said: "The current work at Hey Lane is preparation to create a new access to the site to allow more major works to the cemetery to begin in the New Year."

Clr Linda Wilkinson, (Almondbury), who is on the Huddersfield planning committee, said: "I didn’t vote for it because of the lack of public transport.

"I do understand that a new cemetery is needed, at least we are told that we are going to run out of spaces, but people do visit cemeteries and if they don’t have public transport then it is very difficult.

"I attend to three graves at Lockwood Cemetery on Meltham Road and you can get there quite easily using public transport. But it’s a long way out at Castle Hill with buses limited to every 90 minutes, I understand.

"Whether that concern will be addressed subsequently when they start burying people, I don’t know.

"In addition it is exposed so it will be difficult to get to in winter."

But her Almondbury colleague Clr James Blanchard was more emollient.

He added: "To be quite honest I am reasonably satisfied with what the planning committee has put in place.

"The cemetery will be well away from Castle Hill which I think is important because if you are a mourner you don’t want tourists disturbing you.

"And from an historical point of view it’s important that nothing of that nature at risk of being disturbed.

"Hopefully Metro will be able to address the public transport concerns."