A development for nearly 260 homes in Lupset took a step closer this week after Wakefield Council’s planning committee narrowly voted to approve the controversial application.

Following a two-hour debate on the plans at the Town Hall on Thursday, the committee was split on the decision. The casting vote then went to chairwoman Coun Sandra Pickin who followed the officers’ recommendation for approval.

Submitted by Keepmoat Homes, the company is looking to build the 258 homes on the land behind Snapethorpe Primary School, off Milton Road. However, with part of a playing field included in the development, Sport England has objected saying the site should be protected.

As a result, the application will now be referred to the Secretary of State. Speaking at the meeting as a ward representative, Coun Hilary Mitchell said: “Twenty per cent of this application is on good-quality playing fields. The general view is that there is not enough for young people to do. “Playing fields are fairly rare these days, there is a shortage of them.”

The outcome of the meeting will be a blow to Save Lupset Greenfields, the action group that has been campaigning against the proposals.

With the backing of Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, they said the site is so close to the M1 that it would lead to dangerous pollution levels for residents of the new homes. In reaction, the planning officer said that the impact on local air quality would be “negligible”. Traffic problems and infrastructure issues were also raised.

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