By Tony Earnshaw LDRS

Councillors in Kirklees have voted to approve a housing development on farmland at East Bierley close to the M606 motorway.
Leeds-based developer Rouse Homes will build a 46-home estate on a 4.5-acre parcel of land south of Soureby Cross Way.

The scheme was green-lit at Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee (Nov 17).
The company intends to build seven terraced, 20 semi-detached and 19 detached dwellings. Nine of the homes would be classed as affordable housing.

Five of the 46 units would have two bedrooms, 25 would have three bedrooms, and 16 would have four bedrooms. All would be two-storey.

Objectors raised concerns about the loss of green belt as well as public and protected land.
Planning officers said the scheme had been re-designed to remove a contentious access point off Soureby Cross Way and to instead create a road via an existing track off Hunsworth Lane.
That will involve taking a sliver of land that is currently part of a recreation ground.

Clr Andrew Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said losing the recreation land was “regrettable” but “acceptable” as the developer had provided other space as an alternative to that lost.
He described it as “a very satisfactory development”.

Committee chair Clr Steve Hall (Lab, Heckmondwike) said it was “a damned good plan” that showed the importance of planning committees in debating the issues to find a solution.
The committee voted 6-1 in favour. Clr Donna Bellamy (Con, Colne Valley) abstained.
The scheme is part of Kirklees Council’s Local Plan, which will see tens of thousands of new homes built in the borough.

An order from the Government, the Local Plan includes 31,000 homes, many of which will have to be built within the green belt, as there is insufficient non-green belt land in the borough.
It equates to building 1,730 homes per annum in the borough.