Campaigners victorious in halting housing plans in Wakefield

A fight to halt a controversial housing scheme has ended in another victory for campaigners after city planners agreed with their concerns.

Thursday, 14th September 2017, 1:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th September 2017, 1:55 pm
Residents are angry over housing plans at Newton Hill

Taylor Wimpey was planning to build 82 homes off Second Avenue in Newton Hill, but had faced heavy criticism with more than 154 residents lodging formal complaints.

The land was allocated for housing in the council’s local plan, with a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes.

While many are not against houses being built on the vacant land, most were angry that just one entrance and exit was pencilled into the plans - along an already-busy Second Avenue.

Newton Hill's Second Avenue, with the land beyond where 84 homes are proposed. (Photo supplied by the Friends of Newton Hill. @savenewtonhill)

The Friends of Newton Hill even had the support of MP Andrea Jenkyns and their three ward councillors. The plans were recommended for approval, but proved so unpopular during Wakefield Council’s recent planning committee meeting that all members voted against the plans apart from one, who abstained.

The vote followed almost two hours of discussion in which concerns were raised, largely about traffic issues around Second Avenue and the adjoining First Avenue and Leeds Road.

There were also further worries over the site being situated over a former coal mine.

Ward councillor Charlie Keith said Taylor Wimpey needed to find another access route onto the site.

Newton Hill's Second Avenue, with the land beyond where 84 homes are proposed. (Photo supplied by the Friends of Newton Hill. @savenewtonhill)

He told the committee: “When it was first proposed, I wrote down at least 23 items off the top of my head that needed to be taken into consideration.

“It’s totally unsuitable for what is proposed. If you have not got an alternative access, you can’t have the houses.

“I’m not against this development, it just needs a better access point.

“They are doing anything they can to do this on the cheap.

“And if you are running 30-tonne lorries every day for months while it gets built, the roads won’t stand it, it could collapse because there are mine shafts running under that street.”

The Friends of Newton Hill have successfully fought off several proposals from housing developers wanting to build in the area in the past three years.