Contentious housing plan previously refused over ancient hedgerow and hidden mineshaft now recommended for approval

Contentious plans for a housing estate in Cleckheaton are to come before a committee for a third time.

Leeds-based Harron Homes wants to build 291 homes on farmland off Hunsworth Lane.

The scheme, which was refused last year following concerns about the layout, the impact on local roads, flooding and the failure to find a mineshaft that exists somewhere on the land, and was later deferred, is now recommended for approval by planning officers.It will be debated at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Thursday (Jan 27).

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The revised scheme seeks to respond to the previous reasons for refusal via changes to the site layout and mix of housing.

An aerial view of a proposed housing site at Hunsworth, near Cleckheaton, which is returning to committee. (Image: Google)

It also addresses issues around the “translocation” of a protected ancient hedgerow that wraps round the site, and which helped get the plan refused previously.

The scheme is also subject to a call-in request to the Housing Secretary Michael Gove.

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If it is not called in the scheme has been recommended for approval.

However planning bosses could still turn the application down if a crucial Section 106 agreement – money that pays for improvements and infrastructure such as school places, GP surgeries and highways – is not completed within three months of the committee’s decision.

The S106 agreement for Hunsworth Lane includes:

Affordable housing – 58 affordable dwellings (55% affordable/social rent, 45% intermediate) to be provided in perpetuity.

A contribution of £424,546 for open space including parks and recreation

Education – £1,176,189 contribution to be spent on upon priority admission area schools.

Highways – £65,000 contribution

Sustainable transport – £170,000.

Air quality mitigation – around £162,000.

Biodiversity – around £120,000..

The establishment of a management company to manage and maintain any land “not within private curtilages or adopted by other parties”, and of infrastructure (including surface water drainage until formally adopted by the statutory undertaker).