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Critics hit out at new housing plans for Bingley site
6:00am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
Reworked plans for a major new estate near Bingley were derided by opponents when they were unveiled at a public meeting yesterday.
Bellway and Redrow Homes are still locked in a legal battle with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles over their original plan for the site at Sty Lane, Micklethwaite.
That was for 440 homes and was rejected by Bradford Council, a government planning inspector and Mr Pickles.
A major stumbling block was that emergency access depended on an unpredictable swing bridge over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
But while continuing to challenge the Communities Secretary in the High Court, Bellway and Redrow have now put forward a new plan with what they consider is a solution based primarily on CCTV and one electric bollard.
As well as installing an improved bridge, alternative access for emergency services to the site would be available via Oakwood Drive at the junction with Lady Lane, said highways consultant Alison France, of Sanderson Associates: She said: “If the swing bridge is not operational or cannot be reset within three minutes then Bradford Council’s Urban Traffic Control Unit in the city centre will be able to monitor that on CCTV and lower the electric bollard at Oakwood Drive to give access.
“It would be more or less instantaneous.”
To improve traffic flow at that junction, the suggestion is to cut the speed limit in Lady Lane to 20mph.
Terry Brown, chairman of the Greenhill Action Group, which has spent £100,000 fighting the scheme, was at the busy consultation in St Aidan’s Church Hall, Crossflatts.
And he was confident the bollard scheme was insufficient to change any minds. “They need to do a lot more – I don’t think they’ll win over the Secretary of State with that,” Mr Brown said. “Reducing the speed limit in Lady Lane won’t go down well either.
“Plus improving the junction means making a squash point only 4.8m wide – so two Honda Civics would only have 8ins space between them.
“Everyone is very confused by how they can just keep coming back again and again on this.
“It is just unfair that if we win – which we have – they can appeal, but if they won, we couldn’t.”
Bingley ward Conservative Councillors David Heseltine and Mark Shaw were both at the consultation and agreed the changed “new” plan still fell short. “They are just playing the system and trying to grind people down,” Coun Heseltine said.
“The cannot get away from the fact the roads involved in this site are just too narrow – they’re farm tracks.
Coun Shaw said: “The narrow twisty roads are a nightmare already and as for monitoring the swing bridge and bollards, will they pay for that or will it fall on the taxpayer?”
What you said:
"It’s absolute nonsense, nothing has really changed. There will just be too many cars trying to get in and out with at least two or three for every house."
Keith Allatt, a Micklethwaite Lane resident
"There could be terrible hold-ups for ambulances because of the huge amount of new traffic and a bollard won’t help. I’ve campaigned against this site since the first application."
Pauline Wood, Greenhill Action Group treasurer
"There’s an attempt at cosmetic change which fails to deal with the fundamental issue of the fact that the boundary is made up of narrow roads.
Ashwyn Vyas, 60, a retired bank executive and Greenhill Lane resident
"The problem is the roads are tarmac covered cart tracks that will never be suitable for a large amount of traffic.
John Varley, 66, a retired university officer, of Lower Green, Micklethwaite
"It’s probably a slight improvement, but not solving the big problem of proper access. It’s not just about cars, it’s trucks and lorries too.
Colin Spiller, a retired IT consultant, of Fairfax Road, Bingley
"My concern is plans for a one-way system above the swing bridge to Micklethwaite Lane, which is just crazy. People will be looping back on themselves to get out."
Sandra Allatt, a Micklethwaite Lane resident
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