Plans to develop a field will be unveiled to the public next month – but the news has been met with scepticism even before full details have been revealed.
The future of a field off New Road/Long Causeway in Denholme is the subject of an exhibition at Denholme Mechanics’ Institute on March 12 and 13, when plans for new housing are expected to be revealed.
In 2011 Bradford Council released a draft of its Local Development Framework, which showed 450 new houses could be built in Denholme over the next 20 years. This field was one of several areas described as “potentially suitable” for housing.
But with several other sites in the village earmarked for homes that have yet to be built, such as the former mill which sits just a few metres from the field, developers have been called upon to build there first, rather than concreting over green land.
Coun Simon Cooke (Con, Bingley Rural) said: “We already have a number of large planning permissions that have been granted in Denholme which haven’t been built on yet.
“I just worry we could end up with lots of sites with planning permission but no new houses actually being built. When we keep giving permission for developments when they are not actually being built, you have to question if we have got things right. It is nonsense when this happens. Just a hundred yards from there is the old mill which has been demolished and is now for sale.
“It doesn’t seem people are queuing up to buy houses in Denholme.”
Alan Bell lives on Mount Pleasant, a row of houses facing the field. He had just heard about the development, and said: “The traffic here on the bend is absolutely diabolical – it is an accident waiting to happen. When you pull out onto the road you take your life into your own hands.
“I wouldn’t want to live here if they build on there.”
Tim and Robert Hoyle own a garage near the land. They also questioned why green land was being earmarked for development before sites like the former mill.
Robert said: “The road is an accident blackspot. They should be building on brownfield land; there is plenty of it about. It will set a precedent if they start building on fields.”
Denholme councillor Dan Holmes said: “My major concerns are that we are being asked to approve several new development housing sites when there doesn’t seem to be the roads to support the extra population, no additional infrastructure in Denholme to support the extra population, and no extra funding for the local school, which is pushing its resources already. Many homes for sale in Denholme have been up for a while so its not like there’s a huge demand for new builds.”
The plans are believed to have been drawn up by the landowner rather than a major housing developer.
The exhibition runs from noon to 7.30pm both days.