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‘No new homes in our villages’

Residents in Wrenthorpe are worried about the prospect of housebuilding on several greenfield sites around the village, including Jerry Clay Lane.
Residents in Wrenthorpe are worried about the prospect of housebuilding on several greenfield sites around the village, including Jerry Clay Lane.

Residents are fighting to stop 1,000 homes and 3,000 people from destroying the green belt land around their village

Members of The Wrenthorpe Community Association (WCA) fear that land in Kirkhamgate and off Jerry Clay Lane in Wrenthorpe is being primed for development.

They claim that Wakefield Council was considering a new Local Development Plan (LDP), which could see several places in the villages earmarked for new housing.

Jan Lawler, 56, has lived in the village for 20 years. She said: “I appreciate we need to build houses for the next generation, but this isn’t the right place for development. At the moment people are having to bus their children out of Wrenthorpe because there aren’t enough school spaces in the village. The amenities just won’t be able to cope. 

“If you put new houses down Jerry Clay Lane, with one or two cars each, it’s going to be an absolute nightmare.

“There’s lots of wildlife, foxes and birds down there. It’s completely the wrong place.”

Lucy Jo Niedziolka from the group said: “ Villagers are extremely concerned over a proposal to build an additional 1,000 homes on our green belt.

“We think this is detrimental to our village, how can over 3,000 more people come into the village?

“There has already been two housing estates added to Wrenthorpe recently without anyone knowing about the planning permission plans.”

Coun Nic Stansby, who also sits on the planning committee, said: “The residents in Wrenthorpe and Kirkhamgate feel very strongly about building on our green belt, especially as our roads, schools and healthcare provision are struggling to cope with the existing growth in local housing.”

Wakefield Council said that it was in the process of reviewing the LDP, which gives an overview of future development, and that people’s opinions would be listened to.

Graham West, acting service director for planning, transportation and highways, said: “Last year, as part of the review, we asked people to submit potential development sites to be considered for inclusion in the initial draft Plan, and a number of sites in the Wrenthorpe area have been put forward.

“We will carefully consider any potential new sites and at the end of the year will produce a revised draft Plan, which people will be able to comment on through a public consultation.”

A public meeting will take place at Wrenthorpe Village Hall at 7.30pm on Friday, June 15.