Housing to put infrastructure to tipping point

Land to be developed in Morley that recieved over a 1,000 objections.
Land to be developed in Morley that recieved over a 1,000 objections.

Councillors and MP Andrea Jenkyns have warned that current housing developments could push local infrastructure to a “tipping point”.

More than 2,000 homes are currently in the pipeline to be built across Morley, with objections raised at sites proposed in Tingley, Churwell and East Ardsley.

Politicians have warned that housing development must be approved in mind of increasing population and traffic saturating the area.

Coun Robert Finnigan said: “We are reaching a tipping point as the infrastructure cannot cope, we can just about get through currently but it will collapse.

“The downside is exceeding the upside and problems are going to be magnified.

“Developers interests are being put forward at local interests expense.”

A currently proposed greenfield development at Land Side Farm in Churwell received over 1,000 objections.

Letters listed concerns including access to school places, health centres and increasingly congested roads.

MP Andrea Jenkyns said:“While it is important that we build more homes, due to our ageing and expanding population, this should not come at the expense of our world-renowned Green Belt sites.

“When adequate sites are identified, it is crucial that local services and infrastructure are considered so as not to saturate the area.”

Estimates suggest hundreds of children will require schools places that are not currently available.

Coun Finnigan said: “When these people move in they will need to find a school and there is nowhere near that spare capacity.

“We need to be building schools first then the housing.”

Councillors are also concerned at increasing levels of traffic from the developments being added to spillover from the M62 and M1.

Coun Judith Elliott said: “In Churwell there most definitely will be problems created by these developments, the infrastructure is just not there.

“The roads will be just chock-a-block.”

Areas such as Chapel Hill have also been designated clean air zones because of current levels of air pollution.

Concerns are now being raised that increasing levels of traffic will make the situation worse.

Coun Finnigan said: “We are already dealing with significant problems with the M62 and M1, If there is a problem there they come off here.

“If we add in the extra developments the traffic it will be adding is something local roads cannot cope with.”