Bradford Council opposition parties call for homes allocations rejection by Government inspector (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Council opposition parties call for homes allocations rejection by Government inspector
A blueprint for housebuilding across the district over the next 15 years is “not fit for purpose and doomed to failure”, according to local Conservatives.
Bradford Council’s Local Plan sets out roughly where 42,100 homes should be built across the district by 2030, on a mixture of green fields and previously-developed land.
But the Labour-led authority’s plan has sparked protests, mainly by campaigners calling for development to be kept off the Green Belt.
The plan’s ‘core strategy’ will now be scrutinised by the Government, and the Conservatives at Bradford Council are calling for its planning inspectors to throw it out.
Responding to a consultation which closed yesterday, the Conservatives said too much of the housebuilding was earmarked for rural communities, while the district’s population is expected to grow the most in the inner city.
They also argue that the district does not need 42,100 homes and that there simply isn’t enough available land to accommodate them all.
The party’s planning spokesman, Councillor Simon Cooke, said: “It is preposterous that 900 acres of Green Belt will be built upon and yet the people who need new homes will not have any available to them in locations that they want or at prices that they can afford.
“The strategy is simply not fit for purpose and doomed to failure.”
The Liberal Democrats have also formally objected to the plan, arguing that more should be done to improve derelict areas of the city centre and bring empty homes back into use.
Group leader, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, said the plan was “packing in households in parts of the district when most of the city centre is derelict”.
She added: “In-filling around the urban edge without improving the infrastructure is just having a massively detrimental effect on local communities.”
Councillor Val Slater (Lab), executive member for planning, said bringing empty properties back into use was her top priority, and in the past two years, her team had rescued more than 3,000 empty homes. She said she shared the Conservatives’ concerns that there wasn’t enough land to build on, but that was the situation they were in.
Coun Slater added: “As far as they are maintaining that we are putting far too much in rural areas, I dispute that. The figures in rural areas have come down substantially from the original consultation report.”
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