Wakefield Campaigners in second battle to save greenbelt

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CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight a second battle to save what they say is the last piece of green belt land close to Wakefield city centre.

In July, members of Wakefield Council’s planning and highway’s committee rejected plans by Miller Homes for a new three-quarter-mile long access road and a proposed development of 68 homes in the Newton Hill area of Wakefield.

But now Miller Homes has appealed against that decision and has also submitted revised plans for the scheme

The proposed road is planned on a green public footpath, which runs between the rear of houses on Hatfield View and agricultural land off Ouchthorpe Lane.

The housing development is planned in a field close to Pinderfields and Fieldhead hospitals.

Lee Birmingham. of campaign group the Friends of Newton Hill, said: “Residents are 100 per cent against the revised plans and we will fight as we did before to ensure we win again.

“We have no objection to them building on that land, but we are against them using greenbelt to access the land.”

A spokeswoman for Miller Homes said: “Our previous planning application for a proposed development at Newton Hill, at Fieldhead, Wakefield was refused by the council against the officer’s recommendation and despite the fact the site has already been allocated by Wakefield Council for housing.

“As a result, we have lodged an appeal against the decision, which we anticipate will be subject to a public enquiry in the Spring.

“However, we are now preparing a revised application which addresses the key issues on which the previous application was refused and we held a public consultation event this week to share our new plans with the community.

“We will mitigate against the impact of the access road by reducing the width of the road corridor and will cut it in below ground level to alleviate noise and visual impact.

“ Over and above this we have also proposed a new underground system for storing surface water in place of the previously proposed open basin.

“It is our intention to submit the new application by the end of the year and we believe our plans will help reduce the current shortfall of housing within the Wakefield area.”