Fury over plans for housing on 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.

A master plan for developing areas in Brighouse and Rastrick has revealed that more than 3,000 homes could be built on green belt land.

WSP|parson Brinckerhoff, working with Spawforths, on behalf of Calderdale Council have been appointed to support the evidence base for the Local Plan and to carry out a master-planning exercise for two of the sustainable urban extensions within the Brighouse/Rastrick area.

In the ‘strategic vision for south east Calderdale’ document it reveals the potential to build on two sites.

These are Thornhills Lane - Land between Highmoor Lane and Bradford Road, Brighouse, and Woodhouse - land between Woodhouse and Woodhouse Lane, Rastrick

Brighouse and Rastrick councillors have reacted angrily to the plans.

‘Throughout this whole process we have strongly argued that the Brighouse & Rastrick area should only take its fair share of development across Calderdale and should not be expected to take a disproportionate amount,” said Coun Christine Beal (Con, Rastrick).

“These latest plans appear to suggest that the Council has substantially increased the number of houses that our area is expected to accommodate and that the level of growth in our area now far exceeds that anyway else in Calderdale. This is simply unacceptable.”

In the report it states that: “The balance of evidence indicates that Brighouse and Rastrick will be the key focal points for new residential development.

Coun Colin Peel (Con, Brighouse) said: “We are extremely shocked and surprised by these plans which have recently been published.

“The councillors have not been consulted about the detail of these plans at any point. They will understandably cause alarm among the general public and we are seeking urgent answers from the council.”

Brighouse councillor Howard Blagbrough said it is absolutely imperative that the infrastructure that is required to accommodate this level of growth is delivered before any new houses are build

“The Council have promised infrastructure improvements before across the borough and these have not always been delivered. The only way in which we will accept this level of growth is if the infrastructure is in place first,” said Coun Blagbrough.

Rastrick councillor Chris Pillai added: “Brighouse is already at a standstill with the existing road network being inadequate.

“Wakefield Road, the Bradford Road area around the Tesco roundabout, and several other routes are already heavily congested as it is. How can we be expected to accommodate all of the these extra houses when we are already at breaking point?”

The vision also outlines that three new school will have to be built to meet the pupil demand.

‘It is all very well asking the Brighouse area to deliver an extra 6,000 houses but what about the schools, doctors surgeries, road network and broadband infrastructure,” said Coun Lynne Mitchell. “Where are the guarantees that the infrastructure that we require will be delivered alongside this proposed development. Without these assurances, this level of devolopment is simply unsustainable’.