People have ‘taken their eye off the ball’ over mineral extraction plans in the Shelley area.

That’s the fear of a parish councillor who is urging residents to check out Kirklees Council’s Local Plan while there is still time to make their views known.

Clr Ray Bray says proposals for mineral extraction have ‘escaped people’s attention’ - possibly because plans for up to 30,000 news homes throughout Kirklees have grabbed the headlines.

But he warns village life in Shelley will never be the same if the proposals go ahead.

“The Shelley area has been swamped with applications for mineral activities and it would seem people have not been as involved as they could have,” said Clr Bray.

“Maybe this is apathy. Or partly because the Local Plan website is a monstrous beast which is hard to navigate.

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“Whatever, people need to clue up on this.”

He is not surprised people are focused on housing. “But the impact of mineral extraction can be just as severe as extra housing,” said Clr Bray.

“If Shelley is to have the mineral extraction intended, then village life will never be the same again. Our road network is poor at best, made worse by people having nowhere else to park but the highway.

“The noise and filth created by mineral extraction will be horrendous and continue for decades. And that’s before all the landfill.”

He said that, for many people, the Local Plan is a non-event.

“They don’t know anything about it,” said Clr Bray. “They are not savvy as to what’s going on and haven’t looked at the website.

Land at Royd House, Shelley, Huddersfield, which is designated for mineral extraction on Local Development Plan.

“Most people are fixated on housing because of the numbers involved and many in Shelley think we have got off lightly in this respect. But they need to look at this mineral issue - put together, the sites proposed are bigger than the whole village.

“People need to get involved and put forward their comments to Kirklees Council. I admit the website is hard to navigate, but this is important.”

He said when fellow Shelley parish councillor Bill Armer held a public meeting on the issue, only 11 people turned up. “That is apathy,” he said. “People have taken their eye off the ball.”

Clr Armer, who is also Conservative member for Kirkburton on Kirklees Council, said: “There is a lack of engagement among residents. Mineral extraction is something that would affect the village for years to come and it is important that residents exercise their right to comment - be it for or against.”

Consultation on the Local Plan ends on January 31.