New complex for the elderly looks set to be approved despite opposition

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Protesters pictured last month at the former Neville Grange Centre site, Saltaire against the building of 65 apartments and increased traffic Protesters pictured last month at the former Neville Grange Centre site, Saltaire against the building of 65 apartments and increased traffic

A PLAN to build a complex for the elderly in Saltaire looks set to be approved next week, despite fears it will cause “dangerous” levels of increased traffic.

Bradford Council wants to build the scheme on the site of a now-demolished care home and day centre at Queens Road, saying the old facilities had not been fit for purpose.

But locals say the road cannot take the extra traffic, and that there aren't enough parking spaces planned - meaning people living or working there will be forced to park on nearby roads.

Bradford Council demolished the Ferncliffe Court care home in 2012, and the nearby Neville Grange day centre earlier this year, as part of its Great Places To Grow Old strategy.

The aim was to build four new 'extra care’ facilities in the district, including one on this site.

Now their new planning application, for 45 apartments for the elderly , as well as 20 en-suite bedrooms to provide short-term care for those recovering from an illness or crisis, is to go before a committee on Wednesday.

Officers have recommended it for approval.

Their report reveals that while the original scheme included 32 car parking spaces, this number is now being increased to 34 to address residents' concerns about a lack of parking.

But objectors remain sceptical about the difference two extra parking spaces will make.

Martin Hird, who has organised a petition against the plan, said: "It's totally insufficient, when you think of all the staff that are going to have to come in on a daily basis."

Mr Hird, of Victoria Avenue, Saltaire, said the recent scheme to replace the Saltaire roundabout with traffic lights, which had been designed to ease congestion, had actually made traffic much worse for his neighbourhood.

He said this scheme would only add to the problem.

He said: "There is going to be a serious accident, or lots and lots of skirmishes and people getting into trouble."

The planners' report says the level of parking planned meets current standards, while the council's highways department has raised no congestion concerns.

The report says: "The proposed development would provide for improved facilities for the care of older people within the district and the proposal site is considered to be a sustainable location for this type of development."

And it says the plan is not thought to cause any harm to the nearby Saltaire World Heritage Site.

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