Fight begins to protect fields

RESIDENTS may have to prepare to fight to protect green belt land from development.

More than 2,000 houses have to be built over the next 15 years in Brighouse, Rastrick, Hipperholme, Lightcliffe, Bailiff Bridge and Clifton, 45 per cent of them will be in green belt, according to the Calderdale Local Plan.

Around 2,190 jobs have to be created most of which are concentrated to an area in Clifton which is identified in the Calderdale Employment Land Review as a flagship.

The 62 acre site near the Holiday Inn in Wakefield Road has been controversial in the past and villagers have fought for years to protect the land.

Councillor Colin Raistrick (Ind, Hipp/Light) urged people to get involved in the consultation that starts on Monday until December 19. “I realise it is not very exciting but it is important,” he said.

“I would never vote in favour of building houses in green belt, having said that it is not about protecting green fields that are not really green such as the coach yard on St Giles Road and Monoplas at Hipperholme.

“The argument about the Local Plan is where do we build houses, living in Clifton I would be worried.

“This is your chance to tell us what you want it to be.”

The fields that run alongside the A58 were also a concern.

Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said the land at Clifton was being looked at.

“They are in the very early stages of reviewing, not deciding, not spending any money, they are reviewing what plans are available on that land. It is a concern and we are trying to protect and preserve whatever we can. But people really need to start coming to meetings so they are fully aware of what is going on.

He wanted brownfield sites to be looked at first and previous industrial sites such as Firths at Bailiff Bridge.