Campaigners fighting to save the green belt from development are gearing up for their final battle.
The Tong and Fulneck Valley Association, which opposes plans to sacrifice green belt land in the Tong Valley for homes, hopes to persuade Government inspectors to throw out the Bradford Council proposals.
Its chairman, the Rev Canon Gordon Dey, said: “Essentially, it’s the last real chance. Of course, we will never stop fighting and when they start putting in planning applications we will oppose those as well.
“I will climb a tree and live in it if I have to. We will never stop.”
The Council is currently working on its Local Plan, a blueprint for development across the district until 2030. So far, the authority has finalised the plan’s Core Strategy, which sets out housing targets in particular areas.
Although this does not earmark specific sites for development, it does include plans for 6,000 new homes in south east Bradford, including a major ‘urban extension’ of Holme Wood into the green belt towards Tong.
Areas of green belt land deemed most at threat include a 45-hectare site between Raikes Lane and Tong Street and a 29-hectare site off Westgate Hill Street, which the Council has previously said could be suitable for 1,929 homes.
But the Core Strategy now needs to be approved by Government planning inspectors and the Tong Valley campaigners hope to persuade the inspectors to throw it out.
Four public meetings are being held to encourage people to contact the inspectors with their objections before the deadline of March 31.
Councillor Val Slater (Lab), executive member for planning at Bradford Council, said: “I would remind people that before we put the Local Plan forward, the Executive accepted a neighbourhood development plan about Holme Wood, and that had been through an extensive consultation.”
The public meetings will be held at 10am on Saturday at Tong Schoolroom, at 6pm on Monday at Holme Church, Holme Wood, at 7.30pm on Wednesday at Fulneck Boys’ Brigade and at 7pm on Tuesday, March 18, at East Bierley Cricket Club.