Cross Border Campaigns – Kirklees

The areas that sit on the border between Council’s often face issues with cross border co-operation.  The NPPF, requires that Council’s work together when planning their LDF’s, but this is not always the case: some Council’s have had their LDF overturned (eg Stevenage, Hertfordshire) because of lack of cross border planning.

WARD was specifically set up to deal with cross border planning issues for an area whose residents feel they have more of a Demos, than the local authority areas imposed on them.  The conjunction of Leeds and Bradford LDF’s, for example,  for our area, will be catastrophic ,  if they go ahead unchallenged – leading to the creation of Leedsford.  WARD therefore, also,  has a duty, and feels it prudent, to work with other areas on our border: to share issues, resources and support.  As organization without any political party affiliations, we and other similar organizations, can learn from each other and strive to make democracy, rather than loyalty to political ideology, the ultimate winner.

Kirklees Community Action Network (KCAG) – An umbrella group similar to WARD for the Kirklees area, whose aim is to secure a more realistic, achievable and sustainable Local Plan (LDF).  Currently (April 2012) KCAG includes around 17 local action groups from all parts of Kirklees.  Council border issues cause problems, and local council’s have a duty to co-operate.  Like the border issue WARD has between Leeds and Bradford Council’s,  KCAG looks at the border issue between Kirklees, and Leeds, Wakefield and Calderdale Councils.  This means major battle grounds at Chidswell,  Clayton West, Cooper Bridge, and Ainley Top.

KCAG – Action Groups

Chidswell Action GroupAction to stop 180 hectares of picturesque green belt in Dewsbury, being swallowed up by development.  Savile Estates’ have submitted a local development framework application to build industrial units (35 hectares) and housing on the land surrounding Grange Road Farm which borders Leeds Road and Soothill Lane: the land was brought by The Church of England in August 2011.  The land was saved from opencast mining fourteen years ago, and is one of the few green belt sites left between the boundaries of Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.  Building on it would exacerbate  the pollution and traffic congestion on Leeds Road.

Skelmanthorpe Community Action Group (SCAG)-  Aims to protect and enhance the quality of life for the members of our community. In particular the group exists to fight inappropriate developments, which threaten  green spaces and ‘our’ way of life. Over the past few years SCAG has campaigned, successfully, against proposals for meeting house-building targets.  The new Kirklees LDF states the need to create 35,000 new jobs by 2028, and to use 270 hectares of land for this, mostly in the green belt. This is a huge number of new jobs and destruction of greenbelt and begs for far more detail in an ‘economic develoment plan’ than there seems to be – where are the jobs coming from, what industries and with what infrastructure?