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Masterplan for £180m development for Grimescar Valley unveiled

posted 4 Jul 2014, 03:26 by Grimescar Greenfields   [ updated 5 Jul 2014, 01:36 ]
Major plans to develop 650 acres around the Grimescar Valley have been unveiled 

Thornhill Estates has returned with a masterplan of housing, commercial use, land for a school and country park proposals for an area between Ainley Top, Birchencliffe and Fixby, worth £180m to the economy.

Dubbed the Huddersfield Gateway, Edmund Thornhill, managing director of Thornhill Estates, said it was a unique opportunity to bring ‘major investment, jobs, economic growth and wide-ranging community benefits including new housing’ to the area that includes the Fixby Hall estate.

Link to PDF of Huddersfield Gateway proposals

Plans by Thornhill Estates showing plans for land at Grimescar.

Residential development is in yellow, commercial development is blue and education development is in green.

                     Image above links to PDF of the masterplan

Thornhill Estates want their holdings to be included in Kirklees’ Local Plan, which could pave the way for development. While a planning application for an area of public open land is likely to be submitted later this month. The have now revealed the masterplan to the Examiner ahead of a public meeting.

Mr Thornhill said: “My family has had stewardship of the Fixby Hall estate for over eight centuries.
“This area is incredibly important to me and I am excited about these plans. I believe they will bring high quality developments that benefit our local area and everyone that lives here for the long term.”

The plans for the land include:
• Circa 200 new houses including affordable homes; (see picture below)

Link to Housing Development Proposal 2014
              Image above links to PDF of the plan for 200 homes

• Opening up the Grimescar Valley with publicly-accessible open space land;
• Contributions to public transport and education in the local area;
• Local job creation both directly and indirectly;
• A New Homes Bonus for Kirklees Council - a government grant that matches the council tax raised on each new house for six years.

The team behind the Gateway project will gift land for a new school and school playing fields and make a contribution towards the building of the school.

A new, publicly-accessible country park is proposed. The housing will include some classed as affordable plus there will be housing for the elderly. Improvements to the Halifax Road corridor and improved cycle links are included. The commercial element includes jobs in construction as well as those created by businesses attracted to the area.

The proposal, however, considers a wider area than the Thornhill Estate’s land-holdingto ensure the whole development is integrated and access issues are ‘fully explored’.

The total area in the proposed plan is 260 Hectares - or 650 acres - and Thornhill Estates has submitted the Gateway proposal as part of Kirklees Council’s Local Development Framework (LDF) process meaning it could be adopted into policy.

It is not the first time the Thornhill Estate has sought to develop the land.

In 2011 Kirklees councillors on the Planning Committee rejected plans for 841 new homes, including 500 on green belt land, as well as proposed office and retail space on a 260-hectare site.

It was met by huge opposition with resident groups formed to oppose the development.

Since then Kirklees has had to withdraw it’s Local Development Framework - which sets out its planning policy including where it will allow new development. As a result it’s left such sites open to development while officers work to re-write the strategy.

As a small pocket of the proposed development land falls in Calderdale Council’s area they are also being consulted.

A public drop-in session is taking place at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, on Monday July 14 between 4pm and 7pm for people to find out more while comments can be left at .

Reproduced from Huddersfield Examiner article of 3rd July 2014.