Residents ratchet up campaign against plan to build more than 700 houses on former fireworks factory site

A 78-year-old woman living near a former fireworks factory destined for more than 700 houses in is ratcheting up a campaign to try and stop the huge scheme.

Lesley Lambourne (right) has the petition signed by Crosland Moor resident Shirley Landin. (Image: Andy Catchpool)

Campaigner Lesley Lambourne fears “massive road congestion” if the development on the former Black Cat Fireworks site off Blackmoorfoot Road at Crosland Moor gets the go ahead.

She has begun to gather signatures in opposition to the plan, which was deferred last week (Apr 28) by Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee.

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Mrs Lambourne said: “I am going house to house getting signatures to try and stop it as there is so much opposition to it here. So far I’ve gathered 110 signatures.

“I have written a letter to Kirklees planners and councillors pointing out the reasons why such a huge development should never have been considered in the first place due to the massive road congestion that is bound to ensue.”

Last week’s committee decision followed concerns over the impact of added traffic from the 72-acre site on often gridlocked local roads.

Initial plans to build houses on the firework firm’s headquarters were thrown out in 2019 as the planned 630 homes and 70 ‘extra care’ flats for the elderly were deemed insufficient for the size of the land.

A revised scheme indicated 700 homes alongside a three-storey 70-bed extra care apartment block.

Planning officers have said delivery of the 770 homes would take place in three phases over a decade, with building work unlikely to begin for around seven years.

Mrs Lambourne, of Stonefield Avenue, has lived in Crosland Moor since 1974. She accepts that homes have to be built but says the area will be “swamped” by the hundreds of houses earmarked for the fireworks site.

“I am at a loss as to why the council would even consider it," she said. "I feel sickened. It’s the roads that are the issue. They’re already congested now – and they’re not going to get any wider.

“The number of houses doesn’t bear thinking about. The development will swamp the village. Yet nobody seems to be saying anything about the traffic.

“Everyone has been grumbling to me about it. So I’ve been going out with my letter and gathering signatures when I can.”