Plans for new 142-home housing estate in Normanton on former railway site

GV of land which used to be Normanton Sidings (off Station Road in Altofts). There are plans to build 142 homes on the site. (W534C320)
GV of land which used to be Normanton Sidings (off Station Road in Altofts). There are plans to build 142 homes on the site. (W534C320)
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Developers want to build 142 new homes on the site of former railway sidings opposite Normanton train station.

Plans for the housing estate on land next to the railway line and off Station Road, in Altofts, were submitted this week.

Normanton, 28th July 1966''Normanton Station.

Normanton, 28th July 1966''Normanton Station.

The development, known as Normanton Sidings, will include social housing and a parkland incorporating Ashfield Beck, which runs through the fields.

A planning application has been submitted to Wakefield Council by Tej Properties Ltd, which says the project will increase the population and improve town centre trade.

But people living near to the brownfield land, which has been derelict for 17 years, have mixed feelings about the scheme.

Colin Aylward, secretary of Normanton and Wakefield Road Safety Group, said members would look to discuss it at next month’s meeting.

Mr Aylward, of Norwood Street, Normanton, said: “Our main concern would be to make sure the access road is right.

“The land has been empty for a while and I suppose it is progress.”

The homes will be within a 10 minute walk of three primary schools and Freeston Academy. The site is just a few metres away from Altofts Junior School, which also has access onto Station Road.

Chair of governors father Stephen Hotchen said: “The danger would be the increase of traffic on what is already a busy road. It is chaos at the moment with cars parked on both sides.

“Depending on who lives there, it could have a positive impact, with more children coming to the school, meaning more income for us to develop our resources.”

In a design and access statement created by agent Barton Willmore, it said the housing estate would focus on families walking or using bicycles to get to schools and shops.

It said its location would support existing and new businesses and services as well as making the most of good transport links.

It said: “Given the site’s close proximity to Normanton town centre, this proposal represents a significant opportunity for sustainable development to take place close to local shops, services and transport links.”

The site dates back to 1837 when the sidings were created as part of the development of North Midland Railway.

By the late 19th century the railway Station dealt with 700,000 passengers a year, as well as transporting coal, clay and other minerals.

Work to dimantle the sidings, including tracks and buildings began in 1986