Houses on green belt land given go-ahead

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HOUSES are going to be built on green belt land – despite a fight by residents and councillors.

Wakefield Council gave the go-ahead on Friday at a planning meeting to build 26 homes on the land off Westfield Lane, South Elmsall.

Resident David Wren, of Avalon Rise, close to where the houses will be built, opposed the plans and spoke at the meeting.

He felt the importance the land had to wildlife outweighed the need for houses.

Laurie Harrison, lleader of South Kirkby and Moorthorpe Town Council, was also at the meeting and fought against it.

He said: “This nature reserve is very precious to our village. This area should be protected. While I agree we need homes, we don’t want them here.”

But councillors still decided to go ahead with the plans by changing the land from green belt to housing.

Ian Thomson, service director for planning, transportation and highways, said: “The development site off Westfield Lane in South Elmsall has been identified as housing land.

“The change from green belt to housing has been accepted by the planning inspector who considered the overall allocation of housing sites in the district recently.”

After the meeting, Mr Wren said: “I am really disappointed with the outcome, especially as the area is classed as a natural wildlife habitat link by the council.

“But by agreeing to build these houses, it shows the council is prepared the break that link.”

Coun Harrison was equally disappointed with the outcome.

The application was sent by Saul Homes – who has also been given permission to demolish bungalows on Westfield Lane and rebuild 96 new homes with car parking.

Managing director John Saul said: “I am pleased with the outcome regarding planning.

“The build will generate employment in the area and will be recruiting local apprentices and staff to help with the project.”