THE next steps for a new business park and enterprise zone in Clifton, which could create around 1,300 jobs, are to be discussed by Calderdale Council next week.

The Council is working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership to transform a 23-hectare site near Brighouse into a business park to house Calderdale’s growing firms and attract new businesses from outside the region.

The site has been designated as employment land for over 10 years, but this alone has not been enough to secure its development, which is why the Council is taking action.

The Council’s cabinet members are being asked to approved the acquisition of the land, bringing it into public ownership to help the delivery of what is a complex development site.

While negotiations with the landowners are currently underway and are the preferred approach, the Council could need to resort to a compulsory purchase order.

A report to councillors states however that negotiation alone is "unlikely" due to the disparity in land valuation between the authority and the largest landowner Wharfedale Finance.

Cabinet members will also be asked to approve the submission of a business case to WYCA to release funding to buy the land and progress the development of the business park.

In December WYCA agreed to reserve £5.9 million of funding for the initial phase of site development.

Councillor Barry Collins, the Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “The site is Calderdale’s most significant opportunity to address demand for high-quality employment space. Once established, it would boost economic growth and create hundreds of jobs within around 23 business units.

“The project would also improve local air quality, ease congestion by moving traffic away from Brighouse town centre whilst bringing more opportunities to walk and cycle, and reduce flood risk to nearby homes and businesses by better managing surface water run-off onto Wakefield Road.”

The Council also recently secured £4.5 million from the Department for Transport, which is earmarked to improve walking, cycling and road access to Clifton Business Park and reduce congestion around the site. This includes linking the A644 Wakefield Road and A643 Clifton Common.

The Cabinet meeting will take place on January 15 from 6pm.