Sports complex site back in the spotlight as plans for housing development surface

Jim Kenyon has been opposing development on the old Hemsworth Sports Complex for the last four years. He applied for a judicial review and has now been granted one by the High Court in London.'left - right, Stan Wilson, Jim Kenyon and David Pringle
Jim Kenyon has been opposing development on the old Hemsworth Sports Complex for the last four years. He applied for a judicial review and has now been granted one by the High Court in London.'left - right, Stan Wilson, Jim Kenyon and David Pringle
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EIGHT months after the High Court quashed planning permission to build houses on the former Hemsworth Sports Complex, plans for a development have been re-submitted.

Saul Homes was granted permission by Wakefield Council to build 147 houses and 10 retirement apartments on the Kirkby Road complex in 2008.

The land was sold to the company complete with planning permission by Hemsworth Town Council after years of thrashing out an agreement between the two parties.

The sale was part of a turn-key agreement, which also saw Saul Homes build Hemsworth Town Council Community Centre, on Bullenshaw Road, and the Sandygate Football Facility, on Sandygate Lane.

But Jim Kenyon - who is now a member of the town council - objected to parts of the project and took the matter to a judicial review at the High Court in London on the grounds that an environmental impact assessment was not carried out before the planning permission was granted.

And the court ruled that the planning permission be quashed in February.

Now the developers have submitted an outline planning application for the site - meaning the precise details of the new plans will follow in separate applications at a later date.

The application states that the housing will create “an attractive environment with a strong local identity,” and range from two to three storeys high.

It also states: “The proposed new houses along Kirkby Road are to be terraces to strengthen the streetscape.”

The total number of houses is still to be revealed.

The plans were briefly discussed at a special Hemsworth Town Council meeting on Tuesday, when Coun Kenyon tried to raise concerns about the development.

But council chairman Coun Tony Upson said that the precise details were “nothing to do with” the town council.

Speaking after the meeting Coun Kenyon said he was hoping to raise the issue again at the next town council meeting on Tuesday, November 20.

He said: “Saying this application is nothing to do with this town council is totally wrong. It will affect every man, woman and child in Hemsworth and it’s in the east of the town which is the ward I represent.

“We need to make sure the number of affordable houses offered are adequate and the people living next to the proposed site will also be affected.”