Sunday, 16 October 2016

Kirklees Local Plan - Highfields Community Orchard saved

There are lots of stories coming out of the Kirklees Local Plan since the Publication draft was approved by Kirklees Council last Wednesday. The story of Highfields Community Orchard goes back about 7 years when Kirklees threatened to sell a valued green space next to Wentworth Street and Mountjoy Road. The land was on the border of Newsome and Greenhead Wards which provided a particular party political dimension with myself and the then Council Leader taking different views on this issue.

Highfields Community Orchard was confirmed as having Local Green Space status at Wednesdays meeting. The land was subject to an ongoing disagreement between the local community and the Council over whether, the former school play area should have been allocated as building land or remain a place that the community could use for events, childrens play and for growing local food.

It's a long story full of politics and personalities. All credit to the local people who campaigned to save the land. Events over the last few years has brought neighbours together, sharing food and good times. the big problem for the Friends of  Highfields Community Orchard is no longer Kirklees but the Apple Thief who has stripped the trees bare for a number of years now.

So the land should be safe for at least 15 years which is the life of the Local Plan. How high will the trees be by then?

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