It’s not a done deal yet! Tesco’s applications going to the vote at emergency Heavy Woollen Area planning

Tesco’s amended plans are coming to the next planning committee. Site visits are this Thursday, 24th November when councillors will be at the site for approximately 2:40 pm.  The Heavy Woollen Area planning committee meets next week on Thursday 1st December to consider the applications. The public are welcome to attend, but if you can’t be there, you can still make your views known to the councillors.

Meanwhile, Mirfield Action Group have the results of a recent traffic survey at the site which reveals shocking evidence of the dangers arising from even the current levels of traffic, including illegal turns, dangerous manoeuvres and traffic jams reaching along Huddersfield Road.

Did you know that Princess Street between Ramsden’s and the pub is actually a road? Which means that the exit onto Huddersfield Road is not pavement for pedestrians, but a junction with a left turn only? The attached info graphic shows incidents near the junction reported to the police recorded between 2000 and 2010 (Source: Road casualty Britain: 11 years of deaths and injuries mapped and visualised). If the planned change to a shop instead of a pub goes ahead this will lead to an increase in traffic at an already busy junction. There will be even more vehicles making the illegal right turn onto Huddersfield Road, and those who obey the left turn only are likely to use Fenton Street as a rat run. This and the junction at the bottom of Knowl Road already have a history of incidents involving serious injuries. What will the increased traffic bring on this route which is used by the school walking bus?

Traffic incidents near The Black Bull reported to the police, 2000-2010

Make your views known to the planning committee, full details of who to contact are under Lobbying on the Useful links page, which also has links to the applications and information about attending the meeting.

Oh, and of course all the other planning considerations such as loss of visual amenity; inappropriate design for such an iconic building highlighted in the Mirfield Design Statement; contravention of the Council’s own policy on sustainable development in town centres; and more also still apply…


Tesco’s new plans: consultation period ends tomorrow

Tesco have submitted revised plans, but it’s difficult to tell this from Kirklees’ website. The plan numbers are the same, most of the documentation is the same, you have to click all the way through and download the plans to see the changes. Although notices were posted at the Black Bull, the Kirklees website says nothing about revised plans anywhere.

The easiest way to find the applications is to click on the link below and search for the postcode WF14 8AN applications:

You can write comments online, or send an email to the planning officer in charge. Remember to focus on the issues highlighted on the planning site:

Your views should concentrate on ‘planning’ issues such as; the planning history of the site, the visual impact of the development, affect on public amenity, access, traffic and highway considerations or the impact on listed buildings, conservation areas, or protected trees. Matters that cannot be taken into account include; effect on property values, the character or identity of the applicant, boundary or property disputes, how the application affects a view (as opposed to the wider affect on public amenity) or issues of commercial competition.

You might also want to comment on the fact that The Black Bull is identified as a ‘landmark building’ in the Mirfield Design Statement 2002.

Meanwhile, work on the ramp continues at the site. The granting of permission for the change from Yorkshire Stone to brick is under investigation at Kirklees – were consultations carried out?

The applications will still have to come to the Heavy Woollen planning committee, dates yet to be confirmed.

Get your objections in now!
















Council policy champions ‘local identity’, which way will councillors vote?

In July, before the Tesco application, Kirklees Council passed a motion which agreed that the Council:

…recognises that all our shopping centres, but particularly those in small local and village centres, can have their viability threatened by the introduction of a shop unit from a national or global brand or from a predominance of too many businesses of the same kind.

This suggests that members of the Heavy Woollen Planning Committee should oppose Tesco’s applications as the arrival of Tesco in Mirfield is a direct contradiction to this policy. Now is a good time to remind councillors who have a say in planning decisions of this: contact details for the committee members are on the useful links page. The next Heavy Woollen Area Planning Sub-Committee is on Thursday 13 October so don’t delay, write today!

Background info:

The Full Council meeting provides a regular opportunity for all of the 69 Councillors in Kirklees to meet together to discuss issues of concern and to review the work of the Cabinet and the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.  The Council acts as community leader, determining policy and agreeing the overall community strategies and key plans for the Kirklees area (info from Kirklees website).

Full Council Minutes 27 July 2011 (Section 13)

Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14 as to Shopping Centres:

  • This Council recognises and supports benefits to local communities that can come from having local shopping centres that are made up of a varied and diverse range of independent shops.
  •  This Council recognises that all our shopping centres, but particularly those in small local and village centres, can have their viability threatened by the introduction of a shop unit from a national or global brand or from a predominance of too many businesses of the same kind (e.g.) take-aways.

This Council therefore resolves to:

  • Support opportunities afforded in the Government’s Localism Bill which will enable councils to protect the viability and diversity of our shopping centres by taking into account a need to preserve a local identity;
  • Develop planning policies to achieve these aims for inclusion in the Local Development Framework.

Decision: Motion approved as submitted.

Campaign update – Make it ‘no’ Tesco…

Over 1000 people took part in the march and rally last weekend, a tremendous turnout given only 12 days notice and an indication of the strength of feeling against Tesco’s plans. There was extensive coverage in the local media. Meanwhile, actor Sir Patrick Stewart, whose father Alfred used to drink at The Black Bull, has backed the campaign, saying “It is a handsome building and if you want to add my name to anything, please do.” More here.

MP Simon Reevell is also supporting the campaign. You can contact him here. He is likely to meet representatives from Tesco in the near future, so please write to him with your views as soon as possible.

After hearing more about the opposition to the scheme, Councillor Mehboob Khan has also agreed to fight Tesco’s plans.

Meanwhile, Kirklees Council’s website is still showing no date for the next meeting of the Heavy Woollen planning committee, but you can still write to the members of the committee to let them know your views in advance of the next meeting. Details of how to contact them can be found on the useful links page.

Please invite Councillor Khan to Mirfield

What Councillor Khan thinks... Click to open.

Councillor Mehboob Khan, the leader of Kirklees Council, last night engaged in a virtual debate on twitter with Mirfield residents about Tesco’s plans (click on the image for a selection of tweets). The last line of his homepage says ‘… always putting local people first’, so we think he should come to Mirfield on Saturday to talk to local people in person.  Please take a moment to call or drop him an email to invite him to join us at Saturday’s rally.

Phone: 01484 359483

Mobile: 07977401955


OR (Leader’s office)


Phone: 01484 221814

Fax: 01484 221821

Campaign update – get ready to march!

Plans for Saturday’s rally and march are underway. Meet at Mirfield Showground at 10:30 am on Saturday 3rd September. The march will end with a rally at Ings Grove Park, speakers to be confirmed.

Bring your friends, family, neighbours, the more people there are, the better. You could also decorate an umbrella, it’s easy to carry and serves a double purpose as a display and to protect from the elements. See these images for inspiration.

Spread the word between now and the weekend. You can download A4 posters and A5 leaflets from our downloads page – please distribute them liberally.

You could also take a photo of yourself holding up the message ‘I say ‘No!’ to Tesco in Mirfield’. Add it to your facebook page, send it to us, print a copy and post it where it will be seen. There is a now a facebook page where you can share a link. Let us know and we’ll add it to the stream of photos on the right. You can also follow the Mirfield Action Group on twitter @MirfieldAction for quick updates.

watch this space…

Mirfield Action Group formed to coordinate the campaign

Following yesterday’s well attended public meeting (see the comments for yesterday’s post), a committee called ‘Mirfield Action Group’ has been formed to coordinate the campaign. Outcomes from the initial meeting this evening:

  • Plans for the rally and march on Saturday 3rd September were discussed. Meet at Mirfield Showground at 10:30 am. A massive turnout is needed to show Tesco the strength of feeling in Mirfield, so tell your neighbours, friends, family, workmates and anyone else you know.
  • Publicity materials will be available in the next few days, get in touch if you would like to help spread these, especially if you have somewhere prominent you can display posters.
  • If you would help withe the work of the Mirfield Action Group, contact Martin Ibberson, contact details on the ‘About’ page.