Concerned townsfolk have vowed to do all they can to protect green belt land between Ossett and Horbury.
Independent school Hall Cliffe wants to build overnight accommodation for its special educational needs pupils on fields between the two towns.
It also hopes to create playing fields, changing facilities and an animal shelter.
Nearly 20 objections had been lodged against the plans as The Express went to print, with people living nearby fearing the development would “destroy” unspoilt green belt land.
Suzanne Gahlings, who lives at Spring End Road, said: “Bit by bit every green space in Horbury has been developed.
“This land is one of the few places in the town that still has wildlife like hedgehogs and bats.
“To have that environment developed on would be such a loss for future generations.”
Her neighbour Nicholas Cusworth added: “This is the only piece of green belt land that is left on Hall Cliffe that separates Horbury and Ossett and it should be protected to prevent urban sprawl.
“People are very concerned about the impact the development could have.”
Hall Cliffe School opened last year and is run by the Witherslack Group.
Phil Jones, chief executive, said: “We are hoping that the proposed plans will allow us to further enhance the school’s ability to support each and every pupil and allow us to enable local children to access the specialist education and care they deserve.”
He added: “We fully understand that there will be lots of questions that local residents may have concerning the plans. We are more than happy to answer these and will work with the local community to ensure the best possible outcome for all.”
The plans are being considered by Wakefield Council.