A very bad day for Huddersfield.
That’s how one Examiner reader responded to the news Kirklees Council’s Local Plan has been passed by a planning inspector.
The scheme, which would see 31,000 new homes built on sites across the district including Bradley Park Golf Club, is ready to go subject to a number of tweaks.
It means major housing developments in Bradley, Lepton and Almondbury, Chidswell and Dewsbury Riverside, plus employment sites at Chidswell and Chain Bar, will go ahead.
Despite Cabinet member for Economy Clr Peter McBride’s assertion it was ‘great news’ for Kirklees, the announcement has been met with almost complete dissent from Examiner readers on Facebook.
"Lost for words!”
Many readers were worried about the lack of infrastructure to support the new homes.
Jason Torczynowycz said: “Infrastructure around Huddersfield is struggling at the moment, I can’t see how this massive increase in homes is going to help matters.”
Gemma Atkinson said: “How on earth can the infrastructure cope with this amount of homes added?”
Richard S Tadman said: “What about the total absence of local infrastructure? Schools, surgeries, hospital, shops etc. I’ll lay odds that this will be a dormitory town for the wealthy of Leeds and Manchester. It just doesn’t compute!”
Other readers were upset about the loss of Bradley Park Golf Club.
Deano Whitwam said: “Disgusting! Fantastic layout and many many top golfers learned their trade and living and went on to big things! Lost for words!”
Jez Crossland said: “Surely there are other hillsides they could build on. Bradley Park is probably THE best municipal golf course in the north, if not England. The facilities are better than 99% of member golf courses; the par 3 course, driving range and putting/short game area are superb. It appears Kirklees won’t be happy until we have loads of houses but in a run down town that nobody will want to move to. They’re destroying the town centre with parking/bus gates etc causing all the shops to close and now they are destroying some the best recreational facilities.”
"There will be no West Yorkshire green bits left at this rate.”
Some readers were concerned about the loss of green belt land.
Neil Emsley said: “There will be no green spaces left in this country. You only have to look south of the M62 between junctions 24 and 23.”
Helen Clayton said: “I have travelled up from the south coast today and I have to say having driven around Surrey and other areas I realised just how built up it is round here. It’s greener down there and much more pleasant.”
Robert Taylor said: “There will be no West Yorkshire green bits left at this rate.”
Other readers didn’t see the need for so many houses - and didn’t believe they would be affordable.
Gail Fozard said: “I bet it’s classed as “affordable housing”. Affordable to who? Not the poor families of Huddersfield, they build only for the students or rich folk who want a four and five bedroom house.”
Catherine Sammons said: “I will be interested to see just who moves into these houses. At least one school on the Dewsbury site alone will need to be built to accommodate the influx. I moved back “home” 12 months ago and it’s the worst decision made. My family and I are looking to head south again as I really cannot see any kind of future for us here. It’s only as you go away and return you realise how run down it is with no pleasant green space.”
“I will be interested to see just who moves into these houses."
Ian Digger Kilroy said: “There are thousands of houses for sale, some for months, even years at a time. If there is such a shortage/demand, they would all sell instantly. They don’t because they are too expensive. Building 30,000, or 30 million new ones, when they will probably cost £200,000 plus is not going to help first time buyers, lower wage earners, or even older people wanting to downsize. Anyone who has £200.000 to spend won’t be struggling now to find a house, it’s the above mentioned that do because it’s really affordable houses that are needed.”
However two readers thought the plans were positive.
Leanne Rowell said: “So we can either house people or the rich can play golf?”
And David Haddrell said; “Great news. The country is desperately short of housing stock and a golf course is a terrible waste of land.”