Diggers churn up horses’ paddock in Thackley

Deborah and Robert Lucas on the grazing field for their horses which has been damaged by large plant

Deborah and Robert Lucas on the grazing field for their horses which has been damaged by large plant

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

Diggers sent to drill 30-metre boreholes in fields earmarked for a housing estate have left a trail of muddy destruction, say the owners of a livery stables who rent the land.

Persimmon Homes applied to Bradford Council last year to build 270 homes on 20 acres at Cote Farm beside Leeds Road, Thackley.

The builders had permission to test drill the land for drainage and geological make-up in advance of any decision but Cote Farm Stables bosses Robert and Deborah Lucas, who have rented the land for 17 years, were horrified when contractors with a six-tonne JCB arrived this week and ploughed up the rain-soaked land.

“I had a letter early last year saying they would be drilling, but they had the three driest months of July, August and September to do it and didn’t bother,” said Mr Lucas, 53.

“Instead they’ve waited until the wettest time possible.

“I won’t put a tractor on those fields through the winter because it’s always too wet. And although I advised them not to do it, they turned up with a JCB on road tyres which slipped all over the place and has left massive deep ruts.”

The work was scheduled to take two days but due to the boggy conditions the 17 horses in their care have been trapped in their stables since Monday, unable to get into the 37 acres of fields.

The first digger was replaced with a larger version with caterpillar tracks which was due to finish yesterday. While better able to cope with the conditions, it too has left great swathes of churned earth across fields where the horses are let out for exercise.

The machines dug three-metre deep holes and free-standing drills bored 30 metres to check for gas and the soil conditions. Persimmon has pledged to restore the field but when the holes were refilled, it just added to the mud and mess, according to the couple.

“I’m worried what will happen when we let the horses back out,” said Mrs Lucas, 50. “It’s so rutted and slippery that it’s potentially dangerous for them and it’s all so unnecessary.

“They could have easily waited until the ground was dry and now the fields are all churned up and it will be May before we can get them right. I’m so angry and upset that I’m lost for words.”

Mr and Mrs Lucas said they had not commented on the development until now, but now felt they had been treated without due respect.

“If the development is approved, then we’re finished here and some of the last few green spaces in Bradford will disappear,” Mrs Lucas said.

“And it has already started to affect us, as sadly some people have already moved their horses out.”

Wayne Gradwell, managing director at Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, told the Telegraph & Argus: “The ground will be made good following the completion of works.”

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:21pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Bone_idle18 says...

That looks just like the boggy mess horses have left on all the paths through Buck Wood and on the hill behind the Commercial pub! What Irony :)
That looks just like the boggy mess horses have left on all the paths through Buck Wood and on the hill behind the Commercial pub! What Irony :) Bone_idle18
  • Score: 3

2:13pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Thackleygirl says...

This is a serious issue, it is a well known fact that these houses are not needed and not wanted - there are over 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area - yes 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area alone! So, why the heck do they want to build anymore? These fields are actually meant to be protected and Mr & Mrs Lucas provide a vital service, they care deeply about the land and the animals at Cote Farm. The local schools are all over subsribed with some local children having to commute to Leeds for the nearest schools. The traffic down Leeds Road to Shipley is horrendous (and everyone knows that) - it can take 40 minutes to go half a mile and an additional 270 houses will lead to 500+ cars and possibly 500+ additional children. The history behind Cote Farm is crucial and is an important piece of Bradford's history . We all need to be supporting Mr & Mrs Lucas and stop this ridiculous thing from happening.
This is a serious issue, it is a well known fact that these houses are not needed and not wanted - there are over 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area - yes 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area alone! So, why the heck do they want to build anymore? These fields are actually meant to be protected and Mr & Mrs Lucas provide a vital service, they care deeply about the land and the animals at Cote Farm. The local schools are all over subsribed with some local children having to commute to Leeds for the nearest schools. The traffic down Leeds Road to Shipley is horrendous (and everyone knows that) - it can take 40 minutes to go half a mile and an additional 270 houses will lead to 500+ cars and possibly 500+ additional children. The history behind Cote Farm is crucial and is an important piece of Bradford's history . We all need to be supporting Mr & Mrs Lucas and stop this ridiculous thing from happening. Thackleygirl
  • Score: 7

2:53pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Joedavid says...

Thackleygirl wrote:
This is a serious issue, it is a well known fact that these houses are not needed and not wanted - there are over 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area - yes 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area alone! So, why the heck do they want to build anymore? These fields are actually meant to be protected and Mr & Mrs Lucas provide a vital service, they care deeply about the land and the animals at Cote Farm. The local schools are all over subsribed with some local children having to commute to Leeds for the nearest schools. The traffic down Leeds Road to Shipley is horrendous (and everyone knows that) - it can take 40 minutes to go half a mile and an additional 270 houses will lead to 500+ cars and possibly 500+ additional children. The history behind Cote Farm is crucial and is an important piece of Bradford's history . We all need to be supporting Mr & Mrs Lucas and stop this ridiculous thing from happening.
Why do you think 1000 houses empty?
The builder knows or thinks he knows his new houses will sell or he would not build them.
[quote][p][bold]Thackleygirl[/bold] wrote: This is a serious issue, it is a well known fact that these houses are not needed and not wanted - there are over 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area - yes 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area alone! So, why the heck do they want to build anymore? These fields are actually meant to be protected and Mr & Mrs Lucas provide a vital service, they care deeply about the land and the animals at Cote Farm. The local schools are all over subsribed with some local children having to commute to Leeds for the nearest schools. The traffic down Leeds Road to Shipley is horrendous (and everyone knows that) - it can take 40 minutes to go half a mile and an additional 270 houses will lead to 500+ cars and possibly 500+ additional children. The history behind Cote Farm is crucial and is an important piece of Bradford's history . We all need to be supporting Mr & Mrs Lucas and stop this ridiculous thing from happening.[/p][/quote]Why do you think 1000 houses empty? The builder knows or thinks he knows his new houses will sell or he would not build them. Joedavid
  • Score: -1

3:03pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Bone_idle18 says...

Thackleygirl wrote:
This is a serious issue, it is a well known fact that these houses are not needed and not wanted - there are over 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area - yes 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area alone! So, why the heck do they want to build anymore? These fields are actually meant to be protected and Mr & Mrs Lucas provide a vital service, they care deeply about the land and the animals at Cote Farm. The local schools are all over subsribed with some local children having to commute to Leeds for the nearest schools. The traffic down Leeds Road to Shipley is horrendous (and everyone knows that) - it can take 40 minutes to go half a mile and an additional 270 houses will lead to 500+ cars and possibly 500+ additional children. The history behind Cote Farm is crucial and is an important piece of Bradford's history . We all need to be supporting Mr & Mrs Lucas and stop this ridiculous thing from happening.
500 cars will be a drop in the ocean compared to the existing traffic. Look at the traffic entering/exiting the existing cote farm estate, it's a dribble at best, even at peak times. Why do people assume that every house will have 2 cars and they will all leave at exactly the same time in the morning and return at exactly the same time in the evening, and all head in the same direction?
Schools are an issue, and people seem to keep opposing the expansion of both primary schools in Thackley!
There maybe 1000 empty houses in BD10, but I bet 90% of those are in less desirable areas (No offence Thorpe edge).
It's OK talking about the history of Cote farm, but a vast part of it has already been developed, the precedent has been set.
[quote][p][bold]Thackleygirl[/bold] wrote: This is a serious issue, it is a well known fact that these houses are not needed and not wanted - there are over 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area - yes 1000 empty houses in the BD10 area alone! So, why the heck do they want to build anymore? These fields are actually meant to be protected and Mr & Mrs Lucas provide a vital service, they care deeply about the land and the animals at Cote Farm. The local schools are all over subsribed with some local children having to commute to Leeds for the nearest schools. The traffic down Leeds Road to Shipley is horrendous (and everyone knows that) - it can take 40 minutes to go half a mile and an additional 270 houses will lead to 500+ cars and possibly 500+ additional children. The history behind Cote Farm is crucial and is an important piece of Bradford's history . We all need to be supporting Mr & Mrs Lucas and stop this ridiculous thing from happening.[/p][/quote]500 cars will be a drop in the ocean compared to the existing traffic. Look at the traffic entering/exiting the existing cote farm estate, it's a dribble at best, even at peak times. Why do people assume that every house will have 2 cars and they will all leave at exactly the same time in the morning and return at exactly the same time in the evening, and all head in the same direction? Schools are an issue, and people seem to keep opposing the expansion of both primary schools in Thackley! There maybe 1000 empty houses in BD10, but I bet 90% of those are in less desirable areas (No offence Thorpe edge). It's OK talking about the history of Cote farm, but a vast part of it has already been developed, the precedent has been set. Bone_idle18
  • Score: -3

3:29pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Thackleygirl says...

I suggest that perhaps people do their research and do some homework before posting daft comments..... There are houses that were built in Cyrpus Gardens in the last 2 years and they are standing empty as they can't sell them. The 1000 empty houses are all across the BD10 postcode area, not just certain areas. Imagine if all these houses had families in them and they had cars and needed school places plus the propsed 270 at Cote Farm..... And no the builders and housing developers have not done their homework...

What about the drains, the rain water run - off, the local infrastructure, schools, doctors, dentists and having some green space to breath some fresh air, for your own health and that of your families! And yes Thackley Primary is being expanded at the moment, you can all see the porter cabins.
Anyone who drives along or near Thackley Corner knows how dangerous it is, and there have been concrete ballards there for the past 5+ years due to serious accidents.

Have you ever tried to get down Leeds Road to Shipley or beyond on a Saturday morning / lunch time?

Have some common sense ....
I suggest that perhaps people do their research and do some homework before posting daft comments..... There are houses that were built in Cyrpus Gardens in the last 2 years and they are standing empty as they can't sell them. The 1000 empty houses are all across the BD10 postcode area, not just certain areas. Imagine if all these houses had families in them and they had cars and needed school places plus the propsed 270 at Cote Farm..... And no the builders and housing developers have not done their homework... What about the drains, the rain water run - off, the local infrastructure, schools, doctors, dentists and having some green space to breath some fresh air, for your own health and that of your families! And yes Thackley Primary is being expanded at the moment, you can all see the porter cabins. Anyone who drives along or near Thackley Corner knows how dangerous it is, and there have been concrete ballards there for the past 5+ years due to serious accidents. Have you ever tried to get down Leeds Road to Shipley or beyond on a Saturday morning / lunch time? Have some common sense .... Thackleygirl
  • Score: 8

4:11pm Fri 17 Jan 14

The Hoffster says...

BD10 consists of Eccleshill, Idle, Greengates, and Thackley.

No wonder there's so many empty properties over there. Who in their right mind would want to live there ?

With all the feral chavs running around their 'wonderful' council estates, you'd have to be one of them to fit in.
BD10 consists of Eccleshill, Idle, Greengates, and Thackley. No wonder there's so many empty properties over there. Who in their right mind would want to live there ? With all the feral chavs running around their 'wonderful' council estates, you'd have to be one of them to fit in. The Hoffster
  • Score: -6

6:13pm Fri 17 Jan 14

sam-tyler says...

The Hoffster wrote:
BD10 consists of Eccleshill, Idle, Greengates, and Thackley.

No wonder there's so many empty properties over there. Who in their right mind would want to live there ?

With all the feral chavs running around their 'wonderful' council estates, you'd have to be one of them to fit in.
Shut up Cade, you boring ****!
[quote][p][bold]The Hoffster[/bold] wrote: BD10 consists of Eccleshill, Idle, Greengates, and Thackley. No wonder there's so many empty properties over there. Who in their right mind would want to live there ? With all the feral chavs running around their 'wonderful' council estates, you'd have to be one of them to fit in.[/p][/quote]Shut up Cade, you boring ****! sam-tyler
  • Score: 6

6:23pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Thackleygirl says...

Come on folks, it doesn't matter where you live - get your facts correct before typing daft comments re: above. This is serious and it will affect so many people. We all need to pull together and stop this from happening.
Come on folks, it doesn't matter where you live - get your facts correct before typing daft comments re: above. This is serious and it will affect so many people. We all need to pull together and stop this from happening. Thackleygirl
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree