'Get-rich-quick' house-building scheme rejected by planners after dozens of objections

Moves to build two homes on a country lane have been rejected after dozens of objections were raised, with one calling the plans a 'get-rich-quick scheme'.

By Nick Frame
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 7:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 7:13 am

The application was submitted for the houses off Gawthorpe Lane in Kirkhamgate, but planners said the green belt classification of the site meant there as little chance of approval.

Under planning regulations, applicants must have provide exceptional circumstances to persuade planning officers to permit building on green belt - land that has never previously been developed.

A report into the plans reads: "It is considered that the proposed redevelopment of this site for two dwellings would result in an inappropriate form of development in the green belt which would harm the openness of the green belt and harm the character of the immediate and wider area.

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The land at Gawthorpe Lane.

"No very special circumstances have been demonstrated to clearly outweigh the harm identified."

They also said the close proximity to the M1 - which is matter of yards from the site - would mean "exposure to noise and disturbance" that "would result in a poor standard of housing environment for occupiers of the proposed residential properties".

They also highlighted the poor access to the site, and added: "Insufficient and inadequate information has been provided to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the local planning authority that the application site is safe, stable and suitable for development."

The plans submitted by the applicant were for two detached two-bedroom houses.

Forty-seven letters of objection had been sent to Wakefield Council's planning department, along with a petition with 49 signatures.

A lengthy list of reasons for the objections were submitted, including points raised over the green belt situation and the narrow track-like access to the site being unsuitable.

They also feared it could set a precedence for future development, and raised questions over claims that the new properties would bring "direct economic and social benefits".

The objections were backed by ward councillor, Charlie Keith.

One objector wrote: "The original bungalow was only allowed by the council due to previous structures on the site. The existing development has pushed its permissions to the limit.

"These two bungalows will be on green belt land and in the recognised pollution envelope of the motorway. I believe that allowing this development will lead to future development applications for the remainder of the site."

Another said: "There has been overwhelming support from everyone who I have spoken to whilst gathering signatures for a petition against the development, lots of people wanting to help with it, no-one has shown support in any shape or form for this application.

"Mostly viewing it as a get-rich-quick scheme at the expense of the village, everyone in the village and the other people who use this vital resource would prefer it to stay as it is, a country village with green spaces to be enjoyed by all."