A CAMPAIGNER wants to protect wildlife at a disused Huddersfield mill.

Diane Sims is concerned about plans to build on green space and ponds at Newsome Mills.

Developers Bloor Homes have asked Kirklees Council for permission to build 28 flats and houses on land between Newsome Road, Hart Street and Naomi Road.

The council’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-committee will decide on the issue tomorrow. Council officers have recommended refusal.

Twenty-three residents have written to Kirklees to object to the plan. Complaints include loss of green space, possible flooding of basements and loss of habitat used by birds, bats and ducks.

Mrs Sims, who is a member of the Newsome Ward Community Forum, wants the ponds preserved.

She said: “Those of us who want to protect the mill also want to protect the ponds. They are an important part of the character of the site. Without the ponds it wouldn’t have been possible for the mill to function.”

Mrs Sims believes the ponds should be used by the community.

She said: “Lots of people have expressed an interest in using the pond. It would be an ideal habitat for native crayfish which are a priority species in Kirklees.

“We also have a big allotment group who would like to use the green space on the site.”

But Bloor Homes’ planning application says the site is currently unsightly.

It adds: “Development of the site will provide an attractive, safe, living environment to the future occupants and existing local residents.

“Families and young people moving into the new homes will bring new life to the area and its schools and clubs, helping such amenities to thrive.

“It will offer the purchasers the choice of moving into an established community as an alternative to the new estates which have been constructed on the outskirts of Huddersfield.”