Wakefield Planning Matters
Wakefield district is characterised by the city itself and its neighbouring chain of towns along the River Calder – Horbury, Normanton, Castleford, Knottingley. Slightly detached from the chain is Pontefract, with its Roman origins, Norman castle and penchant for liquorice. Then there are a string of coal mining villages – Featherstone, Ackworth, Fitzwilliam, Hemsworth.
In recent decades, Wakefield district has developed a strong cultural identity in art, thanks to the giants of sculpture, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. This identity is tightly bound into the landscape, and the district sits astride a striking axis of recreational countryside, from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton in the west, through Newmillerdam and Wintersett Country Parks in the centre to Nostell Priory in the east.
Wakefield’s countryside has great potential for sustainable travel. Its larger villages are relatively well-served by rail, and the district is not too hilly, so there would be huge scope for cycling. Leadership and investment are needed to make this happen.
The district is not without its challenges, however. The local authority is wedded to an old-school road corridor approach to regenerating Hemsworth, proposing to connect it to Ackworth and Pontefract with a new road that will inevitably become a draw for low-density development as has happened in the Dearne Valley (Barnsley).
We have recently submitted our response to the Wakefield Draft Local Plan Consultation. You can read our review of the plan by clicking the link just below.
CPRE West Yorkshire have just submitted our response to the Wakefield Draft Local Plan Review.
Some elements of the Plan should be applauded, but there are other areas that fall well short of addressing the needs of a 21st Century Society, such as the continuing trend to create a car dependent future for Wakefield, and the lack of masterplanning to create better environments that everyone can enjoy.
We hope that the Council will review it’s plans and think creatively about how to make Wakefield a leader in building better futures for our next generation of West Yorkshire folk.
You can read our review document here