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Residents face new fight against second proposal to built on green field
Bradford councillors have been advised to give the green light to a new housing estate in Wilsden, despite objections from West Yorkshire Police, Shipley MP Philip Davies, and 666 members of the public.
Harron Homes’ application for 82 houses on a field off Crack Lane comes before a council planning committee on Thursday, just a few weeks before a similar plan for the same site, by the same company, is decided by a Government inspector.
Opposition to the latest scheme was so great that 666 people wrote to the Council urging it to reject the plans – despite the village having a population of under 4,000.
The police said the layout of the new estate would make future residents a prime target for burglars.
Objectors are currently fighting the battle to protect their green space on two fronts – the latest application and an appeal against the decision to refuse a previous application for 73 houses on the same site.
That appeal will be heard by a Government planning inspector on April 9, when council officers will argue their case for blocking the application last April because of possible flooding risks, traffic problems and because councillors thought the site was unsustainable.
These same issues make up the bulk of objections to the latest plans.
Lee Speight, who lives on Crack Lane, said: “I am dismayed we are back to this application again. The suggestion that Crack Lane can cope with 500 vehicles is hard to believe for any resident.”
Local MP Philip Davies said: “The roads in Wilsden are unsuitable for such a large development – narrow lanes, a steep hill and blind bends – and also the volume of traffic on Main Street is already a concern and this would make matters worse.”
West Yorkshire Police criticised plans to have a public walkway through the site, saying: “It permits and legitimises the presence of strangers and offenders throughout the site. West Yorkshire Police are unable to support this in its current form.”
Wilsden Parish Council’s objection says: “The council has been impressed by the considerable strength of feeling of local residents who know the site best. It is not sustainable because this semi-rural village is poorly served by public transport. There are very few opportunities for employment within the locality.”
Others point out poor drainage on the site, raising fears a future housing estate could cause flooding.
Despite these objections, planning officers believe the plans are “acceptable and present no concerns with regard to residential amenity and highway safety”.
If approved Harron Homes will have to pay £328,090 to upgrade the area’s schools, which are currently full, and £72,205 to improve local recreational facilities and playing pitches.
The Regulatory and Appeals Committee meets at 10am on Thursday in Bradford City Hall.