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Show of unity at Kirklees Councillors site visit

posted 29 Jul 2015, 15:06 by Grimescar Greenfields
Local people wanting to Save Grimescar Valley
Protestors held a ‘welcoming committee’ to convince Councillors to reject one of Huddersfield’s most controversial housing plans. Members of Save Grimescar Valley held a demonstration on the site – earmarked for 190 homes – as planning committee members visited this morning. 

Councillors were forbidden from talking to the protestors, indeed panel members stayed on their minibus during the five-minute visit. But campaigners aimed to show the committee the strength of feeling against the proposal.

Lindley Conservative councillor Mark Hemingway joined the protestors after being told he would not sit on the committee. He joins Huddersfield and Colne Valley MPs Barry Sheerman and Jason McCartney as well as Huddersfield Civic Society and the Campaign for Rural England in opposition to Thornhill Estates’ application.
Of the demonstration Clr Hemingway said: “It shows public support and that it’s not a clear cut thing; there are a lot of grey areas. “The fact that people have turned up on a cold and breezy day shows it’s worthwhile.”

Among the protestors were John Livesey and Geoff Walker, both from Grimescar Valley.
Mr Livesey said: 
“I think the councillors will reject it because of the support we have.
If the councillors, the planners and the highways department have any sense they will throw it out on access problems.”

Mr Walker, who has lived in the valley for 43 years, said: “It’s a beautiful place. It’s heaven and that’s going to be houses. “They’ll be no more woodland and nature. We have water voles, green woodpeckers, roe deer, badgers and foxes. It’s a whole ecosystem.It’s the last bit of ecology in Huddersfield.”

The Strategic Planning Committee will decide on the application tomorrow, when they are expected top face another protest.

Kirklees Council planning officers have recommended that the committee pass the application.
Thornhill Estates’ application for 190 houses on land off Yew Tree Road and Burn Road has split the community.

Planning papers show 286 people are in support of the housing while 468 people oppose it including Lindley councillors Cahal Burke and Gemma Wilson.