‘It’s appalling’: Councillor warns of road safety risks and congestion over industrial estate extension

School pupils will be put in greater danger with the expansion of one of Wakefield largest industrial estates, a councillor warned.
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Plans have been approved to extend Langthwaite Business Park, in South Kirkby.

Wakefield Council’s planning committee approved the scheme to build 27,000 sq m of warehouses on greenbelt land.

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The application was submitted by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

Steve Tulley, councillor for South Elmsall and South Kirkby.Steve Tulley, councillor for South Elmsall and South Kirkby.
Steve Tulley, councillor for South Elmsall and South Kirkby.

The site is in a designated enterprise zone area which benefits from tax breaks and government support.

WYCA says the land has been identified as a “key site within the district” with “significant potential for growth in jobs”.

The extension could become home to a £51m centre of excellence for the creative industries.

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Councillors voted in favour of the plans by a majority of six to two.

Committee member Steve Tulley criticised the scheme before voting against it.

Coun Tulley said it would create further danger for youngsters at Minsthorpe Community College.

He told the meeting: “The only entrance into this industrial park is off Barnsley Road.

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“At the moment there are 1,200 lorries a day needing access to that industrial park.

“All we are doing here is adding to a problem.

“If you go to that industrial park this morning at 8am, lorries will be backed up on the main Barnsley Road for over 500 yards.

Coun Tulley, who represents South Elmsall and South Kirkby ward, said another entrance to the site was needed.

The Labour councillor continued: “If we could access the development from another way I would welcome it with open arms.

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“The only way out of this industrial park is past 3,000 houses and a high school with 2,000 kids in it.

“Some of the days when the kids are coming out of school, you have either got to cringe or go inside because you are frightened to death.

“We have had children killed in the past who have gone under lorries. We have to live with that.

“We are not helping and assisting the people of South Elmsall and South Kirkby with congestion, we are adding to it.”

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“As a member of this committee I am quite entitled to sit here and say this is a badly thought out application.

“It doesn’t take into consideration the fact we will have even more traffic than we can already contend with.”

Council officers said a second access road into the site from Broad Lane had been considered but was “not appropriate.”