Anger as council 'ignores' 1,700-name Aire Valley planning petition

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

Campaigners against Bradford Council’s planned industrial park at Buck Lane will be at a meeting of the authority’s executive committee on Tuesday to voice their anger at what they claim is a snub to democracy.

BRAID, Baildon Against Inappropriate Development, is furious that director of regeneration and culture Barra Mac Ruairi has recommended that a 1,700-strong petition should not interfere with this scheme.

In his report to the executive, he said: “It is recommended that: members note the petition, members continue to support the principal objectives of the Project described within this report.”

Although not providing precise details, identities or timescales in his report, Mr Mac Ruairi promises councillors that dealings are progressing with two firms from outside the district who may wish to move to the Buck Lane site one of which “is in a position to sign a design and build contract with their preferred developer.”

He states that: “Dialogue is ongoing with a further four companies who have expressed a desire to expand to larger premises on Buck Lane as they have a desire to be based in the Aire Valley.”

While stating that the development could possibly accommodate 700 jobs, there is no explanation if that would be newly-created jobs or firms transferring to a new site.

Chairman of BRAID Dr Stephen Walker said he was not impressed. He said: “There is no real detail in the report – if they are in negotiation with six businesses, what does that actually mean? We are preparing a detailed response to this report and will definitely be there next Tuesday.”

Baildon Parish Councillor Ian Lyons (Lib Dem) said he was angry at what he called a “snub to democracy”.

He said: “It’s a joke – it wouldn’t have mattered if we’d got ten or ten thousand signatures on that petition. If they’d had a vote on it at full council, then at least it would have been democratic.

“The council is taking a massive gamble with public money – they’ve already spent £220,000 on consultants and the like – and to my mind they don’t have a democratic mandate to do it because they are ignoring the wishes of 1,700 local people,” Coun Lyons said.

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