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Outraged senior Lib Dem councillor accuses authority of ‘money grabbing’
A senior politician has criticised Bradford Council’s bid to get planning permission for 22 homes on a former care home site to increase its value before selling it off. Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, the leader of the Liberal Democrats group, said that 40 hours of discussions with ward councillors, officers and residents about how to best use the site of the former Thackley Grange care home, which shut in 2011, had been ignored.
The discussions had centred on using the land to improve access to nearby schools and parking, but Coun Sunderland said that had now changed radically.
An outline planning application is expected to be submitted this week, and if given the green light, Council officers will dispose of the site on the open market.
Coun Sunderland, who represents the Idle & Thackley ward, said the proposal had left her outraged.
She said: “I and other councillors have discussed this with Council officers and fully expected plans for a safer exit and entrance to Idle Church of England First School, a plan for extending the school and additional car parking for Thackley Primary school to be brought forward before any plan for redundant Thackley Grange site was produced.
“Yet again the Council is money grabbing before thinking about the impact on the local community.
“It is completely indefensible of the Council to push ahead before these issues are resolved. I have written to the chief executive and expect a positive response.
“What we wanted to do was bank the land to solve access problems to the school, create additional parking for teachers at Thackley Primary School and make sure Idle CofE Primary School could increase in size.
“But now planning officers have put in an an application for the whole site.
“It is disgusting, we had 40 hours of discussion with them and they have chosen to ignore all of that and the requests of local councillors.
“We wanted to make sure we solved these local community problems first then look at what was left, but what they (the Council) is doing is money grabbing.
“Putting an application in for houses does not solve the problem, it makes it worse.
“I am disgusted they are treating people in such an outrageous manner and am sick to the teeth of the way officers are treating elected members after all these discussions going back months.”
Bradford Council did not comment before the T&A went to press.
- Earlier this year, the Council revealed more details of plans to create four extra care facilities in the district which would allow elderly people to live independently for longer.
The proposed sites are Saltaire, Airedale, Thackley and Goitside and are part of the Council’s new Great Places to Grow Old strategy.
The Saltaire and Thackley schemes are the most advanced and the executive had agreed to transfer the required land at Ellar Carr Road in Thackley to Housing 21, which provides care, health and housing for older people, and to sell off the former Thackley Grange care home site to help fund the extra care housing scheme at Ellar Carr Road.
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