Fears a planned housing scheme in Thackley, Bradford, could further overload schools in the area have prompted a sit-down ‘picnic protest’ this Bank Holiday Monday.
Cote Farm Action Group is campaigning against Persimmon Homes’ plan to put 270 homes on a green field site beside Leeds Road, which is home to horses at a long-established livery yard.
But worries over children’s educational welfare have provoked this latest action.
In a leaflet delivered to hundreds of homes the group writes: “If you have small children in your family or down your street then you must be concerned about the lack of school places in Thackley and Idle.
“This school year 100-plus children within the Thackley and Idle area did not get a school place at their preferred choice of school. Those families now have the worrying prospect of appealing against those decisions,”
The group says that on top of the Cote Farm development, 288 houses at Simpson Green and 70 more houses on Idle Moor have also been proposed to Bradford Council planners.
“Not only will the impact be felt on our roads and other community facilities, it will mean local schools having to find spaces for hundreds more children – there aren’t enough now.”
Parent Chris Hall is part of the group and has serious concerns over future school places. He said: “We have twin girls who are seven-months-old now, so if this development goes ahead, we are completely stuffed.”
He also fears affluent househunters from Leeds would target the area.
Ward Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Thackley and Idle) said the school’s issue was a real concern.
“We’re not talking about fussy parents. Obviously, if new developments go ahead without new schools it will just make matters worse,” she said.
Wayne Gradwell, managing director at Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, said: “We have endeavoured to address the concerns of the local residents and have carried out a wide range of in-depth reports.
“We await a decision from Bradford Council.”
The Community Picnic takes place on Monday from noon till 3pm at Idle Recreation Ground, Cross Road, Idle.