Residents of Yorkshire village campaign to stop housing in 'saturated' rural area

Residents have launched a campaign to stop a developer building more houses in a village in Wakefield.

People living in Crofton have been backed by their MP in a fight to stop 116 homes being built on a field in Crofton.

Residents say the village is already ‘saturated’ due to a spate of new build developments.

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The Stop Crofton Developments group claim the latest proposal by Harron Homes will put further strain on local infrastructure.

Crofton villagers have a history of fighting harmful developments on their doorstepCrofton villagers have a history of fighting harmful developments on their doorstep
Crofton villagers have a history of fighting harmful developments on their doorstep

The company has submitted an application to Wakefield Council to build 27 three-bedroom properties, 66 four-bedroom properties and 23 two-bedroom affordable homes on land off Santingley Lane.

More than 260 people have so far objected to the plans, with people claiming there is already a shortage of schools, GP surgeries and dentists in the village.

Objectors also say that local roads already struggle to cope with increased traffic.

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One objection states: “The infrastructure of our village is already saturated. The schools and medical centre are overflowing.

“The roads are chaos at the best of times but there is nothing in place by Wakefield Council to address these issues.

“All I see is a greedy council desperate to sell off land to make money and damage the environment further.”

Kate Wray, of Stop Crofton Developments, said: “In the 23 years I have lived in Crofton I have seen it grow beyond its capabilities.

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“We have a doctor’s surgery that is impossible to get an appointment at, our dentist has a four-year waiting list and schools are full to the brim.

“Traffic throughout the village is atrocious at peak times. Accidents regularly happen at a time when school children are about.

“Before any further building takes place there must be better infrastructure put in place. The lack of public transport alone is a failure.”

Concerns have also been raised that wildlife habits continue to be destroyed.

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Wakefield District Swift Group has called for a bird breeding survey to be carried out in the area to understand the ecological impact of development.

Swifts are on the RSPB’s ‘red list’ of species identified as most in need of protection.

A document submitted to the council by the group states: “Crofton was once home to a large colony of swifts.

“Sadly numbers have declined in the village due to a number of factors, but one of the key reasons is re-roofing and lack of nest spaces.”

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has backed objectors.

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He said: “We are not nimbys but we have had enough in this area.

“This is a big problem. There are too many houses going up.

“The schools, the highways, the drainage – none of it works any more now.

“It’s time it stopped.”

Last week, the Labour MP accused the government of “pouring cement and tarmac over Yorkshire’s green and pleasant land” during a debate in parliament.

Mr Trickett referred to a Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) report, which found that there are over 1.2m homes that could be built on brownfield land across the country.

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He said: “In Yorkshire there are tens of thousands of families desperate for affordable housing.

“The CPRE says there are potentially 115,000 potential brownfield sites in our county alone.

“Tens of thousands more sites (across the country) have been land banked – planning consents already given for housing.

“Yet there is executive housing popping up like mushrooms in a forcing shed all over my constituency on greenbelt.”

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A spokesperson for Harron Homes Yorkshire said, “During this planning process we have been, and will continue to work closely with, Wakefield Council to ensure our development plans are in line with its vision for the Crofton area as part of the emerging local plan.

“We are committed to sculpting an appropriate housing plan that takes into consideration the local housing needs while upholding the highest building standards.

“Community is at the core of Harron Homes’ ethos, which is why the development will contribute towards local facilities and infrastructure through the council’s community infrastructure levy.

“Although we are still in the early planning stages of this project, we are keen to look at all ways in which we can help and support the community.”