‘We’ll now win both wars to save our green belt land’

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Campaigners fighting plans to save what they say is the last piece of green belt land in the city centre have stepped up their battle.

The Friends of Newton Hill met Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government, last week to discuss their concerns about plans for 68 homes near Pinderfields and Fieldhead hospitals.

Members of Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee rejected the plans by Miller Homes last July but the company appealed against the decision and also submitted revised plans for the scheme.

Lee Birmingham, from the campaign group, said: “It’s like we’re fighting two wars – there is the original application which is being reviewed and the new one they have submitted.

“We don’t believe they’ve addressed our main concerns in the new application but our strongest fear is the original one is approved on appeal.”

The proposals include a new three-quarter-mile long access road which will run on a public footpath between Hatfield View and agricultural land off Ouchthorpe Lane.

A spokesman for Miller Homes said: “We have submitted a revised application which addresses the key issues on which the previous application was refused.

“We believe our plans, which have been well considered, will help reduce the current shortfall of housing within the Wakefield area.”