New homes plan for Cobblers Lane deferred by councillors

Coun Clive Tennant and Coun Pat Garbutt at Cobblers Lane
Coun Clive Tennant and Coun Pat Garbutt at Cobblers Lane

Controversial plans to build 183 homes on land next to two primary schools in Pontefract have been deferred by councillors.

Members of Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee were expected to approve an application to build the new estate just off Cobblers Lane at a meeting today (Thursday).

However, Coun Allan Garbutt, committee chairman, told the meeting the decision had been deferred as another application took longer than expected.

Campaigners fear the safety of pupils at nearby Holy Family and St Michael’s and Cobblers Lane primary schools could be at risk if the plans get the go ahead.

Melville Todd, who lives on Cobblers Lane, said: “Our main concern is that they want to bring the exit and entrance out right next to the school.

“That will be the only entrance and exit to the site for 183 homes. It’s going to be mayhem.

“We have serious concerns about the safety of children at the two schools but they seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

“The safety of children will also be at risk while they are building the homes.

“Parking is already a major issue especially around school start and finish time when parents are dropping off and picking up their children.”

Mr Todd said campaigners and residents near the site were also worried about sewage at the proposed development.

Pontefract Coun Clive Tennant has also objected to the Linden Homes North application.

He said: “My concern is that the road infrastructure around the site needs sorting before any building starts.

“It’s already a serious problem during the school run and local residents are up in arms about parking and people blocking their driveways already.”

Andy Cramer, Linden Homes North technical director, said: “Myself and the architects met members of the residents association, at their request, on December 10 2014 to discuss any concerns they had in relation to the entrance to the proposed site.

“As with any development, we as a developer liaise closely with the local authority and associated agencies – in this case, both the planning and highways departments at Wakefield Council – to ensure all safety aspects are adequately planned for and addressed within the proposals in conjunction with the authority’s overall sites allocation proposals.

“The council has recommended the proposed Cobblers Lane development for approval, and Linden Homes North is making a highways contribution to the

council as part of their work on the surrounding infrastructure.

“Health and safety is of paramount importance to us, and we will ensure that it remains a priority at all times during the construction of, and in relation to the access of this development.”