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 submitted our response to the Wakefield Draft Local Plan Consultation. You can read our plan review by clicking the link below.
Wakefield local plan timeline
The Planning Inspector found that the Wakefield Local Plan is sound, subject to some main modifications, and can proceed to adoption in early 2024.
A hearing session to cover the funding and delivery strategy for the South Featherstone bypass and Knottingley link road and implications for the delivery of sites LP11 and LP775 (Matters 5, 12 and 14) will be held on Wednesday, 11 January 2023 at the Kingswood Suite, Town Hall, Wood Street, Wakefield WF1 2HQ.
Find out more in Wakefield’s local plan news↗
Invitations to participate in the consultations on The South Featherstone Link Road and the Knottingley Sustainable Transport Package Link Road and Employment Land Need and Supply Update Note– Post Stage 2 Hearings have been issued to those directly involved with each Matter. The consultations closed on Monday 7th November 2022. Comments are available to view in the Examination Library↗.
The Stage Two hearings into Wakefield’s local plan took place between 20-22 September at Wakefield Town Hall and a virtual hearing on 27 September. You can read the draft hearing programme and agenda here↗
CPRE West Yorkshire submitted our response to the Wakefield Draft Local Plan Review.
Some elements of the Plan should be applauded. Still, other areas 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 master planning to create better environments that everyone can enjoy.
We hope the Council will review its 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
Wakefield planning links
Information on Wakefield’s emerging local plan↗
Search for current planning applications