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Bradford Council to review homes permission
10:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
Bradford Council is to look again at two controversial housing plans after changes to national planning guidance and new evidence of flooding.
The authority has confirmed councillors are to reconsider schemes for more than 300 new homes in Menston. The plans are expected to go before the next available meeting of the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee.
Solicitors instructed by Menston Action Group (MAG) wrote to Bradford Council earlier this month saying the Council was obliged to review its decision and refer the applications back to its committee for re-determination.
Solicitors Schofield Sweeney told the Council: “If the Council do not take a further decision in the light of a material change then this would be an administrative failure which would be capable of Judicial Review.”
Three “highly material” developments included the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework, the abolition of the Regional Spatial Strategy, and flooding on the sites in July, August and September last year.
Dr Steve Ellams, of MAG, said: “We feel we have got a genuine reason here to prevent these developments going ahead.”
Both sites were removed from the green belt and designated as potential housing land less than a decade ago.
Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member for planning, said the schemes would be returning to the Regulatory and Appeals Committee.
“We have taken our own legal advice and decided to refer it back to avoid any costly cases,” she said.
Julian Jackson, Bradford Council's assistant director for planning, said: “The Council has taken the decision to refer the Derry Hill and Bingley Road planning applications to the Regulatory and Appeals Committee to avoid what could be a lengthy and costly court case brought by several objectors to those schemes.
“The objectors believe that there are some matters that have occurred since the planning panel decision in February 2012, including publication of the National Planning Policy Framework which require the applications to be reconsidered by the Council.
“The Council, while it does not necessarily agree with the objectors on this, believes that it is prudent to refer the applications back to the committee so that members can consider what has happened since February 2012.”
l A planning inquiry over the non-determination of planning conditions for the 135-home Bingley Road scheme is to be held at Kirklands Community Centre, Main Street, Menston, starting on Tuesday, April 9.
e-mail: chris.tate @telegraphandargus.co.uk