Blow for campaigners fighting housing plans for Sty Lane, Micklethwaite (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Blow for campaigners fighting housing plans for Sty Lane, Micklethwaite
6:00am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
Campaigners who have spent four years and £100,000 objecting to hundreds of homes being built fear they could be back to square one as developers prepare to submit another planning application.
Despite plans for the houses being turned down by Bradford Council, a planning inspector and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, developers are planning to put forward new proposals for the Sty Lane site in Micklethwaite next month.
Those plans will be shared at a public exhibition in Crossflatts on Monday, with developers confident that they address the reasons for refusal.
Bellway and Redrow Homes’ plans to build between 420 and 440 homes on land bordering the Leeds and Liverpool Canal were rejected by the Council in 2011. They appealed, but a planning inspector also turned them down – leading to Mr Pickles dismissing the appeal.
But Redrow and Bellway won a High Court claim that Mr Pickles had “made a mistake”, forcing him to re-evaluate the appeal, which was again rejected in June.
The developers are now waiting on a High Court hearing challenging the decision.
Meanwhile, they have invited residents to the public exhibition on Monday to see the new plans.
A spokesman for Bellway said: “The exhibition will provide an opportunity for local residents to view new plans which overcome and redress the reason for the refusal of the last application.”
Terry Brown, chairman of the Greenhill Action Group, which has bitterly fought the plans, thinks changes will centre on a swing bridge proposed as part of the scheme.
The action group’s main issues are around access to the site and problems when the bridge breaks down, with an alternative route taking up to three or four hours to be opened.
“I don’t see how they can make it any faster or any more efficient so that it doesn’t breakdown. Bridges break down, that’s the issue,” said Mr Brown.
“We could drive ourselves silly, we really just have to wait and see.”
He also criticised the timing of the new application, saying it came at a time when residents would be thinking about the festive season, rather than mounting another planning battle.
“If we do, we’re starting all over again. We’ll have to go through planning panels again and if that’s rejected, then it could be that there’s an appeal again. It’s cost all of the residents £100,000,” Mr Brown said.
“We knew when we started fighting in 2009 that even if we won, which we have done so far, then the developers could just put in another application. It means somebody has got to stand up to them again and again. They just hope they’ll wear the public down. We’re not worn down, but we’ve got to make sure there’s enough people willing to fight it.”
Yesterday, a letter sent to Bradford Council by WSP Environmental Ltd, on behalf of the developers, was published on the Council’s website.
It outlined plans to carry out an environmental impact assessment at the site and confirmed that a revised planning application would address concerns about the bridge.
l The public exhibition is at St Aidan’s Church, Crossflatts, between 3pm and 7pm on Monday, October 21.
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