Congestion fears over Churwell housing plan

Pit Hill, Churwell. (d06121102)
Pit Hill, Churwell. (d06121102)

Discontent is brewing at plans to build over 50 homes on green land in Churwell.

The Observer & Advertiser reported earlier this month that developers Persimmon Homes had written to residents living near Pit Hill in the village, where a range of two, three and four bedroom houses could be constructed.

Concerned residents attended a public meeting in Stanhope Hall in the village last Wednesday, with several voicing opposition to the plans.

Villagers’ foremost fears centre around highways and access, with potentially just one road serving 400 houses should the homes be given the green light. Traffic has been a particular gripe among local residents in recent times, with Churwell Hill habitually grinding to a standstill during rush hours.

Robert Finnigan, who chaired the meeting, said: “It was clear from the residents who attended the meeting that they opposed this proposal from Persimmon. They have major concerns about the capacity of the single spine road that serves the estate to take an additional 50 plus homes and over 100 additional car movements. They are also concerned that local schools and health centres can’t cope with the present demand on them from residents already living in the area and with the impact additional traffic will have on Churwell Hill.”

Directly addressing questions about the access issue Wayne Gradwell, managing director at Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire said: “With regards to road access a transport statement has been completed which meets all the relevant planning and highways standards and will accompany our application.”

He added: “It is extremely important to our business that we build quality homes in areas that people want to live and the development in Churwell will offer a range of house designs to meet all lifestyle and budgets.

“Balancing the need for new homes with the concerns of the existing community can be challenging and that is why we provide a transparent approach to the planning regulations that we have to meet. Feedback from our public consultation has been applied in helping to shape our planning proposal.”