Victory for residents in Farsley fight against housing development

Land off Calverley Lane in Farsley targeted by developers for housing
Land off Calverley Lane in Farsley targeted by developers for housing
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“We are not sitting on our laurels and we are up for it.”

That is the defiant message from a resident’s campaign group that has managed to thwart a developer in its bid to build 300 houses on historic farmland in Farsley.

After a six year battle, a planning refusal and a subsequent appeal from developers Thornhill Estates, the government ruled that the application to build on the site, known locally as Kirklees Knoll, off Bagley Lane and Calverley Lane would not go ahead.

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government in his ruling said: “The adverse impacts of the proposal, especially in terms of the harm to the Farsley Conservation Area, character and appearance of the surrounding area - including the gap between Farsley and Rodley settlements, would significantly outweigh the benefits of the proposal.”

The area of land has been the subject of various planning applications since it was de-classified as greenbelt land more than 25 years ago.

Cambridgeshire based developer, Thornhill Estates, first tried to get planning permission in 2012 and local councillor Andrew Carter warned other prospective developers that if they want a fight, the Farsley community will be there.

After admitting the ruling this week “was a relief” he paid tribute to his two council ward colleagues and the Farsley Resident’s Action Group.

He said: “I must pay tribute to them. They have been a massive support and done a magnificent job and working together, this is a great result.

“I hope that what this decision shows to speculative developers is that we don’t want to see valuable pieces of greenfield and greenbelt needlessly sacrificed and that we can persuade the government that we are right.

“Whether this is the end, I don’t know, but it does put us on the front foot.”

Thornhill Estates declined to comment.