Consultation begins as thousands of new homes planned for green belt land

Councillors Howard Blagbrough and Scott Benton at greenbelt land off Thornhills Lane, Clifton.
Councillors Howard Blagbrough and Scott Benton at greenbelt land off Thornhills Lane, Clifton.

Radical plans to build thousands of homes and possibly new neighbourhoods on Greenbelt land in Brighouse have been revealed.

Hundreds of residents attended the drop in session at Brighouse High School Sixth Form Centre.

Local plan consultation Brighouse.

Local plan consultation Brighouse.

Drafts sites of Calderdale Council’s Local Plan have revealed hundreds of sites across the borough which have been identified in an early blueprint for future developments.

But campaigners fear the plans will “transform Calderdale as we know it” by potentially building on hundreds of acres of Greenbelt land.

The plan, which is still at an early stage and required by central government, outlines a need to build 12,121 homes over the next 15 years.

Anthony Rae, for Calderdale Friends of the Earth said: “The pressure all these proposed development sites will place on Brighouse is just extraordinary.

Local plan consultation Brighouse.

Local plan consultation Brighouse.

“They would transform the nature of the town. There are no fewer than four possible urban extensions to choose between, containing almost 7000 new houses; additional separate housing sites for maybe another thousand units; the long-standing 25 hectare Clifton Road employment site; a Brighouse bypass and a new motorway junction! And most of these sites are on Greenbelt. The fate of the town reveals all the quandaries now confronting us.

“Brighouse has flatter sites, which would allow the planners to locate the thousands of new houses they are required to provide for, but can it really cope with these numbers?

“Its location next to the M62 motorway makes it most attractive to developers but high carbon car commuters to Leeds and Manchester will simply clog up the extra capacity that has just been provided by ‘smart motorways’. And before they reach the M62, how will the local roads be able to cope?

“We know that the planners had not yet actually checked whether all this new traffic can be accommodated. Maybe all this development is in the wrong place, and unsustainable.”

In total around 12 are Urban Extensions have also been suggested in the plan, which could create larger neighbourhoods rather than scattering developments across several sites.

There are plans for a 4,220-home capacity neighbourhood near Highmoor Lane, Clifton and 1,890 near Bradley Wood, Rastrick.

Sites have also identified to build on:

Greenbelt land at Southedge Quarry, Brighouse Road, Hipperholme (452 houses)

Greenbelt land at Boothroyd Farm, Boothroyd Lane, Rastrick, Brighouse (392)

Land south of Clough Lane, Rastrick (131)

Greenbelt land between Dewsbury Road, Pinfold Lane and New Hey Road, Rastrick, Brighouse (407 homes)

Greenbelt Land off Lillands Lane, Rastrick (309 homes)

Councillor Howard Blagbrough (Brighouse, Con) said it was vitally important for people to have their say now on the proposed sites.

“We know there is a need for housing in the borough and Brighouse and the surrounding areas figure prominently in the site proposals.

“No-one wants to see houses built in their back garden.

“Now is the time for people and groups to come together to plan for the future. If people don’t want houses on a particular site then we can look at alternatives.

“This is the point where people have the opportunity to ask the relevant questions and I would very much encourage as many people as possible to attend the consultation event.”

What are your thoughts on the proposed developments in Brighouse, Rastrick, Hipperholme, Lightcliffe and Clifton? Do you think Brighouse is bearing the brunt of the developments?

What do you think of the damage it will cause to the Greenbelt?

Email you opinions to ian.hirst@jpress.co.uk or send a message to our Facebook site or via Twitter @Brighouse_Echo or @HXCourier