Transformational Change For Dewsbury?
As the Kirklees Local Plan creeps out and into consultation there are various hints that there might even be something exciting in the offing. But as several people in the know have said to me, they would have to kill me if they told me!
Unless you choose to download and hundreds of pages from the Kirklees website the public currently only have access to a 19 page booklet that you can pick up from your local library or town hall.
Frankly, it contains little of interest other than the location of housing and industrial developments in Kirklees. Important though these may be when planning council strategy for the next 15 years which is purpose of the Local Plan, there is nothing to put flesh on the bones of the 'transformational change for Dewsbury' contained in the Kirklees Economic Strategy 2014 published just last year.
Housing and Enterprise Growth Zone
However, now we seem to be talking about a new beast; a Housing and Enterprise Growth Zone for North Kirklees - and an initial report was adopted at Kirklees Cabinet meeting just last week on 17 November.
Download the report here
You can also watch the webcast of Kirklees Cabinet meeting here: http://bit.ly/1lEeGUN when the report was adopted. The interesting bit seems to be Agenda item 11 from minutes 23 to 30 of the recording.
What do we learn?
That Kirklees' plan for a Housing and Enterprise Growth Zone is currently no more than a policy concept to be developed over the next 12-24 months.
Kirklees potential aim could be "To reenergise the town, maximising its riverside location, embedding enterprise and increase visitor numbers, through a program of growth and renewal."
The key objectives include:
- The area could be a focus for housing and economic growth.
- The area could be seen as a key strategic employment location within the LCR.
- We may wish to fully exploit the area to ensure it seen as a keytransport node for both road and rail (connecting to HS2, Leedsand the wider north of England)
- Dewsbury could be seen as the primary economic and service centre, with a town centre that is fully occupied through increased housing and leisure provision, with a consolidated retail and commercial core.
Interestingly, what came up during the Cabinet meeting but is not explicit in the report is:
- modification to the ring road (originally proposed in the Strategic Development Framework, 2010)
Regrettably, among all this good news and optimism the report is riddled with the word 'potential' and clearly says that government money has dried up and that North Kirklees and Dewsbury are not currently in the Leeds City Region SEP (Strategic Economic Plan) - but appear to be well placed to become so(?)
Naturally, the report refers several times to the necessity to consult with stakeholders including the community during the development of such a new strategic policy. And since the winding up of the Town Team in April 2015, the community - that means YOU - has no recognised body to represent your views.
That is until you click on our Supporters page where you can get involved and make your voice heard.
Want to know more?
Andrew Jackson, Chief Development Officer for Kirklees is slated to do a 30 minute presentation to the Dewsbury and Mirfield District Committee meeting next Tuesday, 1st December in the Town Hall.