A CALL has been made for Highways England to step in and allow direct motorway access to a new industrial estate near the edge of Bradford.

Earlier this month plans for the Interchange 26 development between the M62 and M606 were approved, including a contentious access point using rural roads.

Now Kirklees Councillor Andrew Cooper has written to the head of Highways England asking them to review previous decisions not to provide direct access to the 57-acre site from the nearby motorways.

He has also called for a meeting with the agency, the developers and the leaders of both Bradford and Kirklees councils.

Cllr Cooper, who is also the Green Party West Yorkshire Mayoral candidate, said: “This development obviously has a lot of potential to bring economic benefits to both Bradford and Kirklees. It’s a brown field site close to the motorway so it almost ticks all the boxes.

“However, I am really concerned that the only access to this site from the M606 will be right next to a primary school and that all traffic will have to from Chain Bar through the village of Oakenshaw.

“As a result, if this development goes ahead, it will significantly increase the air pollution in the area – something that is especially dangerous next to Woodlands Primary School.”

The former Yorkshire Water North Bierley Waste Water Treatment Works in Oakenshaw, near Cleckheaton, was sold to developer Opus North for an undisclosed sum last year. They had already secured outline planning consent from Kirklees Council for a commercial development of around 400,000 sq ft.

A total of 91 objectors lodged concerns about the latest application, which was to determine access, layout, scale, appearance and landscaping for phase 1.

Many were calling for the developer to look at other options including including linking the development directly to the motorway network, and an access from Bradford Road via a new bridge across the M606.

But Council officers made it clear that these options had already been discounted by the applicant for technical or viability reasons.

At the meeting one objector said the transformation of the site had been “dressed up like a pig” by its developers, adding that residents had been treated with “contempt” in their attempts to overturn the scheme.

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins also objected to the access via Cliff Hollins Lane, which connects to Mill Carr Hill Road, then Bradford Road and finally onto Junction 26 of the M62 at Chain Bar.

Objectors raised concerns about congested roads, the “problematic” nature of the Chain Bar junction, and the potentially dangerous implications of traffic on a nearby primary school.

Ryan Unsworth of Opus North told the meeting that investment totalling £30m was being pumped into the site. Materials from the demolished works were also being re-used, reducing the necessity for thousands of extra vehicle movements making deliveries.

Highways England has been approached by the Telegraph & Argus for a comment.

It emerged earlier this month that demolition work ahead of constructing the new industrial park had been halted for a month after a temporary stop notice was issued by Kirklees Council. This was due to work having started on the site without certain conditions having been met. Work was allowed to restart at the end of August when conditions were met.