Robin Hood’s grave near Brighouse should be transformed into a tourist attraction, it is claimed.

There are fears the areas around the site will be over-developed by both Kirklees and Calderdale councils and the grave’s site will be lost forever.

Rapidly approaching its 5,000 signature target, a petition – which can be accessed at www.change.org/p/save-robin-hood-s-grave-from-destruction – aims to secure what is said to be the famous outlaw’s final resting place on the Calderdale side of the border with Kirklees which runs through historic Kirklees Hall near Brighouse.

The petition urges rejection of a part of Kirklees Council’s Local Plan which could see green belt space close to Kirklees Hall around Cooper Bridge roundabout close to the M62 motorway developed as industrial space and asks the same of Calderdale Council.

Video Loading

But the leader of the Conservative group on Calderdale Council, Scott Benton, says both councils are looking to overdevelop land in the vicinity of the grave when they should be looking harder at its tourism potential.

Clr Benton, who represents Brighouse ward, said the site, which legend says is where an arrow shot from Kirklees Priory by a dying Robin Hood landed and became his final resting place, is of importance historically and in promoting tourism.

Brighouse Conservative councillor Scott Benton

He said: “Calderdale Council often speaks about the importance of tourism and attracting people into the area.

“Improving access to the site and promoting the grave as an important part of our local history is an obvious way to attract more visitors to our area and to support the local economy.

Battle is on to save Robin Hood's grave ... and there's nothing merrie about it

“But instead of working with local historical groups to promote the site, Calderdale is looking to overdevelop the area in the vicinity of the grave by promoting a new industrial park – something which is opposed by the vast majority of local people in Clifton and Kirklees Hall.

“In addition to this, Kirklees Council are also looking to develop an industrial park just a few hundred yards from the site.

“Dozens of people around Brighouse have contacted me to express their concern at the over development of the site and don’t feel that either council is taking the heritage issues connected with the site seriously enough in their rush to drive through their plans for development in the area.”

Carr House, Kirklees Hall, Clifton

Earlier this year at the public inquiry into Kirklees Council’s Local Plan, opponents made their cases against that authority’s proposal.

However, Kirklees Council highways official Keith Bloomfield told the inquiry that £77m of road funding to improve the jammed up routes around Cooper Bridge had been authorised on the basis of the site being approved, providing jobs and economic growth.

Last week Calderdale Council’s Corporate Lead – Planning, Richard Seaman, said the issue was really with Kirklees.

“Calderdale Council will continue to work closely with Kirklees to ensure the conservation of this important heritage site,” he said. “Calderdale Council is not proposing to make any changes to its Green Belt boundary that would directly affect the Kirklees Estate.”