Cleckheaton campaigners gear up for hearing about homes on popular farmland (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Cleckheaton campaigners gear up for hearing about homes on popular farmland
8:00am Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
Campaigners fighting a planned development on fields particularly popular with sledgers each winter are gearing up for a public hearing.
The controversial plan, to build about 54 homes on farmland near the Grade II-listed Lower Blacup Farm in Cleckheaton, was originally turned down by the Heavy Woollen Planning Committee in March, much to the delight of campaigners.
But developer Redrow has appealed to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to overturn the decision.
Now the Save Lower Blacup Campaign Group is preparing to fight its corner once again, and is calling on members of the public to turn up at an appeal hearing to make their feelings known.
The hearing will start at the Whitcliffe Hotel, Prospect Road, Cleckheaton, on Tuesday and is set to last two or three days.
Campaigner Sue Howard said: “As residents we have major concerns about the consequences of building on those precious green fields.
“There is the impact it will have on the working farm, the impact on the flooding from the beck, the impact of extra traffic and the effect on one of the oldest buildings in Cleckheaton which has been at the heart of our local history.”
Councillor Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said the fields were well known as the best sledging slopes for miles around.
She said developers should be looking to transform the town’s brownfield sites instead of planning housing schemes on green fields.
Coun Pinnock said: “The green fields on the hillside around Lower Blacup are valued by residents across Cleckheaton.
“Our town has had around 1,000 new houses built in the last 10 years with at least another 300 with planning permission. We are not against more houses but we don’t want to lose our green fields when there are very large brownfield sites across the town just waiting to be developed.
“If Redrow want to build in Cleckheaton we say to them you are welcome to come and build on any one of at least four large derelict sites in our town.”
A spokesperson for Redrow said: “We are appealing against the decision made by the Heavy Woollen Planning Committee as we believe that our plans for Lower Blacup would provide much- needed homes for the district, including an element of social housing.
“If approved, the development would generate direct and indirect jobs for local people. An independent planning inspector will make an informed decision based on the evidence presented at the appeal hearing.”