NINE decisions on housing, retail and business were approved under emergency powers whilst planning committees in Kirklees were prevented from meeting due to the coronavirus lockdown.

They included 40 homes at the former Batley & District Cottage Hospital in Batley and a mezzanine floor for a vacant retail unit at Birstall Shopping Park

They were decided by Karl Battersby, Kirklees Council’s strategic director for economy and infrastructure in consultation with Councillor Steve Hall, the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.

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The council said the decision to invoke emergency powers to make urgent decisions  – such as to support economic regeneration, sustain local business and avoid the risk of appeal costs – had been recommended by Government.

The decisions also included:

65 apartments at the former Wheelwright Centre in Dewsbury

19 homes on a former railway goods yard in Netherton

A roundabout and access road to land at Lees Hall Road, Dewsbury, which has been earmarked for 240 homes as part of the first phase of the Dewsbury Riverside development

A mezzanine floor for a vacant retail unit at Birstall Shopping Park

Camping facilities at Marsden Lane in Marsden

A 3m-high fence at Birstall Shopping Park

A single-storey building at Station Yard in Denby Dale

A detached building at Netherton Infant and Nursery School in Netherton

Kirklees Council planning chiefs speaking at the first virtual meeting of Strategic Planning Committee (June 3) said eight major and one minor application had been approved via emergency powers.

It was introduced as a temporary emergency measure until planning committee meetings could be held virtually.