Fury at proposals for 1,500 new homes on edge of Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield

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Opposition is mounting to proposed planning changes that could see 1,500 homes built on greenbelt land bordering Leeds.

Kirklees Council is currently drawing up a new draft of its Local Development Framework (LDF) – a blueprint for future building schemes – and proposes to allow major development in Chidswell, on the edge of Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.

If approved, as well as the 1,500 new homes, the LDF would also allow for 35 hectares of industrial units.

Kirklees residents are opposed to the changes and have formed the Chidswell Action Group.

And they have also have support from people living across the border in south Leeds who say their communities will suffer if the new LDF goes ahead.

Leeds city councillor Judith Elliott (Morley Borough Independents, Morley South) said allowing large scale development in Chidswell would put massive pressure on schools and services in nearby Tingley and West Ardsley.

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Coun Elliott said: “If this proposal goes ahead it will bring a substantial increase in traffic onto an already congested Dewsbury Road.

“It will also mean more children competing for places at Woodkirk High School and Westerton and Hilltop Primary Schools who will be unable to cope.

“Local children will lose out and additional pressure will be placed on local health centres and other facilities.”

The Chidswell Action Group, joined by residents from Leeds and Wakefield, will take part in a march against the LDF proposals tomorrow. It will leave the Huntsman Inn on Chidswell Lane at 10am.

Campaigners have also launched an online petition at www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-chidswell-dewsbury-greenbelt/sign.

Chairman of the Chidswell Action Group, Rod Lilley, said, “I invite everyone to attend the rally and march. Please come, bring relatives, friends and friends of friends so that the voices of opposition are heard.”

Kirklees Council will decide on changes to the LDF at a meeting of its full council on November 23.

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