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Denolmes homes ‘yes’ is attacked by councillor
Bradford Council has come under fire for letting an officer give the go-ahead to a controversial housing estate in Denholme “behind closed doors”.
Plans for 35 houses on a field at the junction of New Road and Long Causeway were approved late last week but one local councillor says it is “unacceptable” councillors were not given the chance to debate it.
The approval means that applicant M Bailey can now market the land to housing developers. Included in his application are improvements to New Road, one of the busiest roads through the village.
New central road markings, signage and traffic calming measures accompany the development. Suggested traffic lights near the entrance to the estate were rejected by Council highways officers.
Some neighbours had objected to the green site being used for houses when there were several empty buildings sites nearby.
But the Council says it received no requests for the plans to go before a committee, and so gave the responsibility to a planning officer.
“I have no objections to the Council delegating decisions about applications like a house extension, but this is totally different. This is for 35 houses at a controversial site. This is not a small thing – let it be decided by councillors in the open where they can be seen to be responsible, and not for officers to decide behind closed doors.”
Denholme parish councillor Steve Nunn said they did not ask for the application to go to a committee after officers made clear traffic lights would not be part of the scheme. He said: “We were happy to see the site developed because it is the gateway into Denholme. However, we still have concerns about road safety.”
Mohammed Yousuf, the Council’s area planning manager, said: “This application was approved under the powers detailed in the scheme of delegation.
“As part of this, ward members can ask for planning applications to be referred to committee, instead of being decided by officers.
“As there were no representations from ward members, and very few objections from members of the public, this application was decided by an officer under the scheme of delegation.”
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