A DECISION on controversial plans for 46 homes in East Bierley has been delayed again as a row over a change in access rumble on.

Rouse Homes wants to build a new housing estate on land south of Soureby Cross Way which is allocated for housing in the local plan.

But the access was originally going to be via track off Hunsworth Lane, which also leads to sports facilities run by East Bierley Community Sports Association.

Members of Kirklees Council's strategic planning committee narrowly lost a vote to approve the scheme, as half of the committee argued that the developer had done all it could to trace the owner of a piece of unregistered land.

The application was deferred to consider full reasons for refusal.

The sports association feared the change in access could hinder their further plans for the sports facilities as the track would not be upgraded as part of the housing development.

Councillors had previously asked that the developer go back and look again at the unregistered land to see if the original access could be reconsidered.

A fresh report by planners has outlined that the landowner has made further efforts to trace the owner of the land, and has also applied to the land registry to grant ‘adverse possession’ without success.

Other options ruled out as too costly include using common land in order to avoid the unregistered land, or taking out indemnity insurance should the owner come forward at a later date.

The committee was told by legal officers that without a valid planning reason for refusing the scheme, the matter could be costly to the Council on appeal.