The draft Knottingley Masterplan contains a proposal - put forward by officers and external consultants - to build 2700 new homes on a large swathe of greenbelt in the south of our town with no new facilities or services. That means 2700 new homes, but no new schools, no new GP surgeries, and no new leisure facilities. We hope the Council will listen to our voice and change the Masterplan.
These plans must be opposed, unless we see the following:
Return of facilities to our town, including a sports centre. In recent years we have seen the closure of our towns sports centre, swimming pool, library, household waste recycling centre, police station, fire station, and more. We cannot increase the size of our town by almost 50% and continue without the facilities that towns of a similar size already enjoy. At present the Council sports facilities & swimming pool will be located at Pontefract Racecourse, an area that is already notorious for congestion, and can take up to an hour on public transport for some residents to access- making it inaccessible for a large number of residents.
New infrastructure, & improved public transport links upfront. Our town is already choking due to the high volume of cars and HGVs that run through our town and we already see over 100+ HGVs clogging up the A164 to access the Ferrybridge Multi-Fuel site. We have a single train station with limited car parking, and a bus service that doesn't take many people to the places that they work. Adding potentially 5000 new cars to the roads about our town is a non-starter without substantial infrastructure built prior to housing development.
Meaningful and ongoing consultation with residents, not just lip service. Residents must have a voice that is listened to throughout the process, not just simply be asked their opinion at the end. In the members meeting with Council officers and consultants it was explained that by the time the masterplan is put to residents it will be for more of a comment rather than for making changes. This is a slap in the face of residents and not a proper consultation.