Residents on estate off Dewsbury Road in Wakefield 'feel misled' by Barratt and David Wilson Homes, meeting told

Residents feel "misled" over commercial development taking place near their homes, a public meeting's heard.

Friday, 18th September 2020, 4:42 pm
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 4:46 pm

People living on and around Foreman Road in Wakefield weren't told about the prospect of an industrial site being built nearby when they bought their properties, the local planning committee was told on Thursday.

The estate, located off Dewsbury Road, has been built over the course of the last seven years after an application for new homes and commercial development on the site was granted by Wakefield Council in 2011.

An agent for the builders behind the scheme said it was "unfortunate" that residents felt let down but added that the planning permission "has always been there".

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A view of Foreman Road, from Dewsbury Road. The estate has been built over the last seven years.

The industrial part of the development is only now being built on a vacant plot of old farmland, and those living nearby are fighting against plans to build a new access road to the site.

Developers have also asked for permission to extend the hours HGVs can go to and from the site, which currently can only be accessed by going down Foreman Road. That idea has received 165 objections.

Speaking at a planning committee meeting yesterday, Foreman Road resident Dr Matthew Tinker said neighbours were "concerned about the significant risk to their health and wellbeing" posed by a potential increase in HGVs going up and down the street.

He also said children playing outside would be in danger.

A view of the land on which the industrial site is to be built, from Dewsbury Road.

Asked if he knew that the land was going to be industrial when he bought his property, Dr Tinker replied: "No. There's a lot of anger among the residents here that we weren't informed this development had been approved already.

"I think a lot of people feel quite misled by Barratts and David Wilson Homes when we bought these houses. (We didn't know) that this development was going to occur.

"I think one of the issues was a lot of us used the solicitors that were recommended by Barratts and David Wilson Homes. We don't know whether that was deliberate."

Dr Tinker said he'd recently gone over paperwork from when he'd bought the house years previously and found a map which referenced commercial development, but said during the meeting this "wasn't flagged up or highlighted" by the solicitors at the time.

He also said he wasn't against the current vacant land being developed, but that he was concerned that it was going to be industrial site because of the HGVs.

In response, Richard Frudd, an agent for the developers, told councillors: "It's unfortunate if residents feel they have been misled or weren't aware of the planning permission, but the fact is it was always there."

He said the proposal to extend the hours was a "modest" compromise that would "Give my clients a chance of securing occupiers to allow for the investment and jobs that have long been assumed".

The meeting was told that the plan for the new access road had been devised in response to residents' concerns about HGVs going down Foreman Road.

Mr Frudd added: "It's there to try to ease those concerns and make it a better situation.

Councillors delayed making a decision about both applications however, after several said they were confused by contradictory information in their papers.

Instead, the proposals will be discussed again at a later date.

Local Democracy Reporting Service