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Council looks at cheap home plan in wake of Silsden scheme
Bradford Council will look at its policies for affordable housing after a committee said they were “uncomfortable” with plans to offer new homes to people in Silsden before anyone else in the district.
Six of a proposed 26 houses planned as part of a housing development off Daisy Hill - approved yesterday, will be sold to a social housing provider. But when the application was discussed by the council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, the idea of giving people in Silsden priority sparked fierce debate.
One councillor claimed it seemed it was designed to “keep people out” of the town.
P A Snell and Sons, a Silsden-based builder behind the application, had agreed to buy the greenfield site from Bradford Council if it got permission for the new estate.
The application had already proved controversial, with Silsden Parish Council and more than 69 residents objecting for reasons including the concreting over of green land and the traffic congestion the houses might bring.
But the issue that caused most debate among councillors was the condition that the affordable houses be offered to people in the town first, and only offered to people outside if there was not enough local demand.
Planning officers said this was one of several ways to offer benefits to the people of Silsden in exchange for any harm the new estate would bring.
But Coun Imran Khan (Lab, Bowling and Barkerend) said: “I’m not comfortable with this. This is more about keeping people out of Silsden than keeping people in. It is something I just wouldn’t be able to support.” He said the houses should be offered to people who needed them most, wherever they were from in the district.
Coun Roger L’Amie (Baildon) added: “If I can afford a house I’ll chose where to live, if I need an affordable house then I’ll be told where I have to live.”
The committee eventually approved the application, but asked the council to look again whether it had any power to specify who had priority over the affordable houses.
After visiting the Ron Lawton Close site, the committee supported the plans for 37 houses, but again asked for the council to look at how the nine affordable houses on the site will be allocated.
l A 34-metre high turbine in Denholme has once again been given the stamp of approval by Bradford Council.
An application for a turbine at Earling Works, submitted by Omega Proteins, was previously approved by the council’s Keighley Planning Panel. But because the site lies in the greenbelt, the plans had to go before the Regulatory and Appeals Committee, which deals with larger applications.
There had been several objections to the application, including by Shipley MP Philip Davies and Denholme Town Council, but at a meeting yesterday the committee unanimously approved the turbine.
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