Homes plan to save village’s traditions

The Mens 48th World Coal Carrying Championship under way at Gawthorpe.
The Mens 48th World Coal Carrying Championship under way at Gawthorpe.

A DEAL has been struck to build up to 70 home and help keep village traditions alive in Gawthorpe.

The new homes will be built between Holly Approach and Swithenbank Avenue, on land currently owned by Gawthorpe Maypole Committee, if planning permission is granted.

Committee president Don Hitchen said the development would bring jobs to the area.

And he said revenue generated from the homes would help to fund Gawthorpe’s world-famous coal race and annual Maypole procession, both of which have become increasingly at risk due to rising costs.

Mr Hitchen said: “It’s getting more and more difficult to get grants for things, and it costs us around £10,000 to host these events each year.

“Next year’s coal race will be the 50th anniversary. We need to safeguard these traditions, and if people support us with this then it’ll be looking promising.”

Housing developer Bidwells have already secured planning permission for 12 homes on adjacent land.

And the Maypole committee will allow them to extend the site on the grounds that revenue is ring-fenced for funding community projects.

In a letter to Wakefield Council’s planning department, Bidwells said the plan would have “a lasting positive impact on the wider community and uphold the spirit of localism.”

The proposal includes a mix of two, three, four and five bedroom houses, with a range of affordable homes.

An access road would be created from Holly Approach.

Standard consultation will close on Thursday, July 26.