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Fears as Council’s green fields put up for sale before decision made on controversial housing plans

COUNCIL-owned green fields in Cleckheaton, which are currently the subject of a controversial plan to build 55 homes, are to be auctioned off next month.

With a guide price of £1.25 million and the auction scheduled the week after a committee is expected to determine the outline plans, local campaigners fear the matter is a done deal.

Residents and local councillors have raised fears about the access to the 1.68 hectare site off Kenmore Drive.

And even the authority’s highways department has concerns about extending the cul-de-sac as existing on-street parking could create issues with highway safety.

Local councillor Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said the land must have been put on the market on the assumption that planning consent was a formality – which was not the case.

“I will be making strong representations about this,” she said.

Amended plans have also been submitted to try and address the highways issues, with access on Kenmore Drive and vehicles using Kenmore View to exit the new housing estate.

The land has been owned by the Council for a number of years and had at one point been earmarked for a new school.

For the last two decades it has been allocated for housing.

A planning statement accompanying the scheme states that the development could contain a mix of detached and semi-detached homes.

A Kirklees Council spokesman confirmed earlier: “The Council as the landowner is entitled to apply for planning permission on its own land.

“The application will be considered in the usual way, and the decision on the application will be made by the appropriate planning committee.”

The Council has now confirmed that the matter will be presented to the next meeting of the authority’s Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee on Thursday, November 9, for a decision.

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The auction, by Walker Singleton, is due to take place at The Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, Huddersfield, on November 16.

In a brochure it is described as a “substantial gently sloping greenfield site”and that outline plans have been submitted.

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