Green campaigner Andrew Cooper believes plan could set a national precedent.

Kirklees Council’s massive planning blueprint has been approved by a Government planning inspector.

But as it signs off on tens of thousands of new homes across the borough it also puts up obstacles for fracking companies wishing to drill for hydrocarbons such as shale gas.

And Green campaigners say it could have national implications.

The authority’s ambitious Local Plan will now go to debate at a special meeting of Kirklees Council on February 27. It is likely to be adopted and signed into law.

An order from the Government, the Local Plan includes 31,000 homes, many of which will have to built within the green belt as there is insufficient non-green belt land in the borough.

Among the huge schemes are developments at Bradley, building on the 18-hole golf course (1,500 homes), and at Dewsbury Riverside between Mirfield and Ravensthorpe (4,000 homes).

Reacting to the report by Katie Child of the Planning Inspectorate, council leader Shabir Pandor said it was “fantastic news” for Kirklees.

Also cheering was Green Group leader Clr Andrew Cooper, who said the inclusion of an amendment to a policy relating to hydrocarbon extraction proposals could have a crucial impact on fracking across the country.

The amendment, adopted by the council in 2016, says proposals for production of hydrocarbons should demonstrate “net zero impact on climate change.”

In short if the effects of fracking cannot be mitigated no approval will be given.

Full Article in the Examiner