Safety fears over new homes plan for Pontefract

Coun Clive Tennant and Coun Pat Garbutt
Coun Clive Tennant and Coun Pat Garbutt

Campaigners in Pontefract fear children’s safety could be at risk if plans for 183 homes on Cobblers Lane get the go-ahead.

An application by Linden Homes North to build the new estate on land next to and behind Cobblers Lane Primary School is recommended for approval at a planning meeting tomorrow (Thursday).

We’ve got serious concerns about the safety of children at the two schools but they seem to have fallen on deaf ears

Melville Todd, of Cobblers Lane

However, those fighting the proposals say they fear for the safety of youngsters at the school and nearby Holy Family and St Michael’s Catholic Primary School.

Melville Todd, who lives on Cobblers Lane, said: “Our main concern is that they want to bring the exit and entrance out right next to the school.

“That will be the only entrance and exit to the site for 183 homes. It’s just going to be mayhem.

“We’ve also got serious concerns about the safety of children at the two schools but they seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

“The safety of children will also be at risk while they are building the homes.

“The parking is already a major issue especially around school start and finish time when parents are dropping off and picking up their children.”

Mr Todd also said campaigners and those who live near the site also had concerns about sewage at the proposed development.”

Pontefract councillor Clive Tennant has also objected to the application and will speak against the plans at the meeting of Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee.

He said: “My concern is that the road infrastructure around the site needs sorting before any building starts.

“It’s already a serious problem during the school run and local residents are up in arms about parking and people blocking their driveways already.”

Andy Cramer, Linden Homes North technical director, said: “Myself and the architects met members of the residents association, at their request, on December 10 2014 to discuss any concerns they had in relation to the entrance to the proposed site.

“As with any development, we as a developer liaise closely with the local authority and associated agencies – in this case, both the planning and highways departments at Wakefield Council – to ensure all safety aspects are adequately planned for and addressed within the proposals in conjunction with the authority’s overall sites allocation proposals.

“The council has recommended the proposed Cobblers Lane development for approval, and Linden Homes North is making a highways contribution to the council as part of their work on the surrounding infrastructure.

“Health and safety is of paramount importance to us, and we will ensure that it remains a priority at all times during the construction of, and in relation to the access of this development.”