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Deal to save Baildon land is close
A battle to save land from development which could have “destroyed” a tight-knit community is heading towards a happy ending.
Parish Councillor Ian Lyons said the parish council will meet on February 11 to discuss plans to take over the site – between Kirklands Avenue, Hoyle Court Avenue and the railway line – from Bradford Council, and consider a draft legal agreement for a 25-year lease at a peppercorn rate.
Exactly a year ago, The Hoyle Court and Kirklands Residents Association was formed to preserve and maintain the land for the villagers. It would look after the site for the parish council.
Association secretary Moira Orwin said historically the land had been used as a safe area for children to play ball games on and the campaign to save it had strengthened neighbourly relations.
“We welcome the fact that it’s bringing the community closer together. In times when you’re getting burglaries and instances when you’re finding things being taken you need to try and build this community support so people are looking out for each other again. I think that’s been lost in recent years,” said Mrs Orwin, a mother-of-two.
“We’ve got it so we’ve got this patch of grass for recreational use for the next 25 years. We haven’t got the worry about what’s going to happen to it.
“Without it my children don’t have anywhere to play in close proximity. We don’t want children wandering off to find a play area. It’s safe.”
The group has organised parties to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Royal Wedding on the site, a summer fair, fireworks display and carol concert, with each being more popular than the last.
More events will be held to pay for maintenance and insurance.
Councillor Val Townend (Con, Baildon), who has been to every meeting of the group, said: “They’ve done so much fundraising, it’s really nice to see how everybody’s been involved. They’re doing a fantastic job.”
Bradford Council applied for planning permission in October 2010 to build one three-bedroom detached and two semi-detached homes on the site, but the plans were withdrawn following objections.
Coun Lyons (Lib Dem, Baildon East) said the parish council was ready to take the land on and planned to build up a portfolio of pictures showing how the community used it, to apply for village green status.
“It’s been a very positive campaign. Everyone knows each other, They really are in it together. They socialise together and organise things together and that would have been destroyed if that land were to go,” said Coun Lyons.