Residents in bid to fight homes plan

Paul McCann and members of the Ackworth & Hardwick Road Action Group are contesting the plans to build 250 homes behind Ackworth Road. (P503C225)
Paul McCann and members of the Ackworth & Hardwick Road Action Group are contesting the plans to build 250 homes behind Ackworth Road. (P503C225)
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DEFIANT residents have formed an action group to fight plans for 250 houses on farmland in Pontefract.

Members of Ackworth and Hardwick Road Action Group will deliver 2,000 newsletters this weekend to urge homeowners to object to the proposed development.

Paul McCann, group chairman, said members were strongly against the outline planning proposals – submitted to Wakefield Council by Barratt and David Wilson Homes – fearing fields between Ackworth and Hardwick Roads would be destroyed to make way for the estate.

He said: “We’re objecting on a number of grounds. Road safety is a concern for children going to school. There’s a lot of rat runs being created as a consequence of people driving from the main road to keep moving.

“We’ve checked with local schools and headteachers and governors are concerned about the increase in traffic.”

Mr McCann, whose house on Maple Avenue would overlook the development, said another major concern for the group was an increase in pollution at Mill Hill, which he said was already being monitored by the council.

Fellow group member Steve Spencer, of Maple Grove, said: “The pollution is monitored by the council and they know it’s at unacceptable levels.

“Children going up that hill day in day out are breathing in that pollution so the council are compounding it if they let the development go forward.”

The group has raised several issues in its newsletter about infrastructure, citing continuing traffic problems at Pontefract’s Town End lights and a lack of school places as further concerns.

Janet Hardisty, another group member, of Holgate Road, said she went door-to-door to gain support for the cause.

She added: “I did a house-to-house petition and people are very angry about the proposal.”

The newsletter will be delivered to homes in and around Larks Hill, Mill Hill, Ackworth Road and Hardwick Road this weekend and will include details of how to object to the proposals.

Pontefract Coun Celia Loughran, said: “Myself and Coun Tony Dean oppose the site and support the group. The infrastructure isn’t sufficient and the problems with queuing into Pontefract will get worse.”

A spokesman for Wakefield Council confirmed it had received a planning application for the site and a consultation period would run until July 13. Email Devcontrol@wakefield.gov.uk to submit comments.