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Anger as Menston homes bid is rubber-stamped
Campaigners still fighting plans for two large housing developments in Menston are furious at the way news of Bradford Council’s final approval for one of them has been released to the public.
Menston Action Group (Mag) has fought a lengthy battle against plans for 173 homes on Derry Hill and also beside Bingley Road including petitions against the schemes containing more than 1,100 signatures.
In April, the Derry Hill plan got full planning permission, and outline planning permission was also granted for the other development.
But Mag may seek a judicial review now that decision has been formally released, said spokesman Dr Steve Ellams.
“We are disgusted by the way the whole thing has been handled,” he said yesterday.
“Final approval was granted last Thursday, but brown enveloped letters were only received by objectors on Monday,” Dr Ellams said.
“However those who had given e-mail addresses were told on Friday – but that did not include ward councillors who were not properly informed either.
“I’ve had a barrage of complaints from people who are furious about the way this has been dealt with.
“We had been awaiting the final decision, but it is true we still have not been able to put forward our case regarding the problems of flooding and drainage which go with these developments.”
Dr Ellams said they had been been refused the right to present technical evidence to meetings of the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals committee.
“At the moment we are regrouping and considering what to do next, which may include the possibility of going for a judicial review,” Dr Ellams said.
Bradford councillor for Wharfedale, Dale Smith (Con), said he has written to planners asking for clarification regarding consultation over drainage issues.
And he is also demanding an explanation over the announcement of final approval.
He wrote: “Please investigate and explain why, as a ward councillor, I was not informed of this decision (apparently neither were my colleagues) and why the spasmodic notification I automatically receive through planning applications of Ward 26 issues did not pick this addition up and notify me.
A Bradford Council spokesman said: “The application for 173 homes at Derry Hill was approved by the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement, in April earlier this year.
“The 106 requires the applicant/developer to meet certain obligations on affordable housing, education, recreation and open space facilities and highway and public transport improvements. Once those obligations are agreed the 106 is completed which then enables the planning permission to be granted.
“The 106 was signed by the applicant and Council on October 17 and then planning permission was issued under delegated authority on October 24.
“Objectors and ward councillors have been kept informed during this process and letters were sent on October 24 to tell them about the completion of the process.”
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