A CONTROVERSIAL housing plan in Mirfield has been deferred after a video emerged showing the site under water.

The video was apparently filmed during Storm Ciara in February.

Planning chiefs with Kirklees Council said they need to pause a decision to allow Miller Homes to build 67 homes on fields off Granny Lane, at Hopton Bottom,  in order to investigate further.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s Strategic Planning Committee (Oct 14) Head of Planning Mathias Franklin referred to the video as “a very late representation”.”

He said: “The video appears to show surface water on the site. We are establishing when the video was taken, what storm it relates to [and] where the source of that water is coming from. Our drainage engineers and the applicant’s engineers are looking into that. There is a discussion to take place with the person who filmed [the video] so that we can understand their first-hand knowledge.”

He added: “This is us listening to our communities and responding to local issues.”

Supported housing plan for former Council depot in Mirfield

He suggested deferring the matter “to allow further investigations into the source of this video and where the water is coming from”.

That stance was supported by Clr Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) who said there were “major drainage issues” on the site.

She added: “Whatever the run-off is, there’s definitely beck problems and it’s about a coping mechanism.”

Narrow Granny Lane, which is close to the River Calder, suffers regular severe flooding. Nearby meadowland earmarked for the new housing estate is part of an ancient floodplain.

The proposed entrance to the site is in Flood Zone 3, meaning the area has a high risk of flooding.

Responding to the deferral local campaigners, who are against the development, said: “We hope they will see this afresh and not invent a ‘solution’.”

Campaign groups Granny Lane Area Action Group (GLAAG) and Save Mirfield have fought the homes plan from the beginning.

They engaged planning lawyers to fight their case, and argued that a drainage report commissioned by GLAAG and submitted to the council was not given proper consideration when a decision was made last year to green-light the scheme.

Planners were urged to look at new evidence and reconsider the scheme or face a legal challenge.

A GLAAG spokesperson said that the application was returned to committee as a result of that legal claim.

“The planning officer still recommended approval.”

The video, which GLAAG says was filmed on February 9 at the height of Storm Ciara, was also sent to the Environment Agency.

The group has pledged to continue its legal challenge as well as engaging with the  Lead Local Flood Authority – which is Kirklees Council – who it hopes “will see that the risk to residents from this development is too great”.

Mr Franklin said his team would look into the video “and if any changes are needed to the plans to pick that up and come back to a planning committee once we’ve resolved those matters”.