‘Horrified’ residents will fight new homes

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‘Horrified’ residents are fighting plans for 40 houses on Pontefract’s original liquorice fields.

Homeowners in Stumpcross Lane say building the mix of one to four bedroom properties will cause traffic chaos at the junction with Knottingley Road.

Resident Adele Hudson told Wakefield Council’s planning committee last Thursday how wildlife could be destroyed by the removal of a hedgerow and that the development will put a strain on schools and GP surgeries.

She told the meeting: “We, the residents of Stumpcross, are horrified by this proposal.

“The only access to the site is from the busy Knottingley Road. There has been a number of road traffic accidents near to this junction. The site has been earmarked for further development on a road network that will not cope.”

Coun Clive Tennant told the meeting the speed limit should be lowered.

He said: “This development increases the amount of vehicles coming out of Stumpcross Lane. Until improvements are made to the visibility of this junction, or the speed limit is lowered, this application should be refused.”

Planning bosses approved outline permissions for 40 homes on the site by majority vote, with two against the proposal and one abstention.

Speaking after the meeting, Barbara Mangham – who lives at Pear Tree Farm off Stumpcross Lane – said the junction is a bottleneck at rush hour.

Mrs Mangham, who has lived there for almost 20 years, added: “There’s also a blind corner and in an inappropriate speed limit. A 40mph limit is dangerous enough without the properties being built there.

“I know from experience that you take your own life in your hands every time you come out of that junction.”

Liquorice expert Tom Dixon told the Express the development will be built on fields which are part of Pontefract’s sweet-making heritage.

He said: “It wasn’t just the best liquorice land in Pontefract, it was the best liquorice land in England because of the depth of the soil.

“Once that land is built on, it can’t be put back.”

Residents hope to raise awareness of the development by putting flyers through doors and will hold regular meetings at the Cobbler Pub to discuss the plans.

Anyone wishing to join the group should contact Barbara Mangham on 07939 119314 or barbie@discreetaesthetics.co.uk. Alternatively contact fellow campaigner Helen Williams on helenwilliams01@hotmail.com.