The major development on council-owned land at City Fields was given the go-head despite a plea to reject the scheme.
Kathryn Pybus, who lives on a narrow boat close to the site at Stanley Ferry, told Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee how the flagship development is destroying nature in the area.
When complete, a new community of more than 2,500 homes is expected to be created across a 375-hectare site to the east of the city centre.
Ms Pybus told councillors: “I strongly object to this planning application.
“For the last 17 years I have lived on a narrow boat next to Stanley Ferry.
“Being passionate about wildlife I walk along there every day.
“Local residents have been left saddened and angry at the loss of nature and space to walk in.
“Bat numbers have plummeted.
“Bird numbers have declined. Frog spawn, grass snakes and toads are not seen now.
“The ecology surveys shows the number of species you will be harming.
“Many are protected species
“I have been asking for years what provision Wakefield Council is making to protect them and I am yet to get a satisfactory answer.”
The latest phase of development will see the council selling a 14-hectare site, off Neil Fox Way, to a developer to complete the project.
Proposals include building a range of two, three and four-bed properties.
The scheme also includes building 75 affordable homes for rent or shared ownership.
Plans to build 135 homes on adjacent council-owned land were approved in August.
Two other large-scale projects are also planned nearby.
Ms Pybus said: “Local councils have a duty to preserve and enhance biodiversity if possible.
“Biodiversity at City Fields has not been preserved, let alone enhanced.
“The council would be further failing in its duty to let this development go ahead.
“On this site, nature is getting pushed into smaller and smaller areas.
“Wakefield Council has rightly declared a biodiversity crisis.
“It’s a crisis that requires immediate action.
“We keep being told in this district that we need need more housing, and that it is affordable housing we are short of.
“This development only has 30 per cent of affordable homes.
“When we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking.”
Any developer taking on the project will be required to pay £197,000 to compensate for loss of habitats and to encourage biodiversity.
A report says: “The proposal would ensure that, where possible, existing habitat and trees are retained and new areas of landscaping would be provided.”
Recommending approval, the report adds: “The proposed development is considered to be acceptable in principle and, subject to the imposition of planning conditions, there are considered to be no technical reasons to withhold planning permission.
“The proposal is considered to constitute sustainable development.”
The plan was approved, by five votes to four, after committee chair Darren Byford used his casting vote in favour of it.