Homes plan traffic fears

Local elections. May 2008.'Elizabeth Rhodes. Labour. Wakefield North Number 17 Ward.'w3843p819
Local elections. May 2008.'Elizabeth Rhodes. Labour. Wakefield North Number 17 Ward.'w3843p819

TRAFFIC chaos is feared after plans to build a mix of almost 300 homes and an industrial estate were approved after an appeal.

A proposal for industrial units and 285 homes on farmland off Dewsbury Road, near the junction 40 roundabout, was refused in March following hundreds of objections.

Residents have won a victory against a developer who wanted to build an industrial estate and 285 homes on their doorstep. pictured Kevin Land

Residents have won a victory against a developer who wanted to build an industrial estate and 285 homes on their doorstep. pictured Kevin Land

But yesterday road safety fears were shrugged aside as an identical outline application was passed by a planning committee at County Hall.

A new junction with traffic lights will provide access to the development from Dewsbury Road.

Coun Elizabeth Rhodes, of Wakefield North ward, said people living nearby were worried that it could put their safety at risk.

She said: “I am very disappointed with this result.

“Traffic is increasing all the time and my constituents are worried about the impact of this. I will be watching closely to make sure highways conditions are met.”

Peter Brown, of Woodland Road, said the outcome was a “disgrace”. He said: “Dewsbury Road is already so busy and with more junctions and traffic lights it is going to be an absolute mess.”

Councillors said the existence of speed cameras right next to the development site showed previous accidents must have occurred there.

Representatives from the neighbouring Silkwood Business Park also objected, providing an independent traffic analysis showing the area was already congested.

But the Barratt Homes development was given the green light after highways experts insisted there were no grounds to refuse it.

Speaking on behalf of Barratt Homes, highways consultant Philip Owen said: “The junction will provide more than sufficient space and will ensure the safety of pedestrians.

“There are absolutely no highways reasons to refuse this application.”