Planners in Bradford were accused of an obsession with “ruining” attractive villages on the city fringe, in a hard-hitting Commons debate last night.
Shipley MP Philip Davies criticised the Labour-run Bradford Council, attacking a “house-building arms race” that ignored the strong opposition of his constituents.
The Conservative backbencher condemned “wholly unsuitable” proposals in Menston, Micklethwaite, Baildon and Wilsden, telling ministers: “This shows localism is not working as it should.
“This housing numbers game does nothing to alleviate housing need or to regenerate the city centre – but ruins the nature of villages in my constituency.
“The public want control on immigration rather than this concentration on supply, which will inevitably lead to every green field being built on one day.”
Mr Davies has also focused on the issue of flooding over proposals to build homes at Menston, calling for a public inquiry to examine the situation. He claimed plans to put 300 homes up at Bingley Road and Derry Hill, Menston, were flawed because of ground water in the area.
He said expert advice offered by a scientist about the issue had been ignored by the Council.
Mr Davies said the information had been supplied before Easter, but no feedback had been provided. “It is deeply regrettable – indeed it is a total and utter disgrace – that Bradford Council has not taken this independent expert opinion into account.
“Indeed they have not shown any interest in it at all, and I urge the Minister to do what he can – even at this late stage – to make the Council reflect on this evidence as otherwise a flawed decision will have been made.
“Indeed, even without this evidence, I have photos of the land to be developed which is flooded after heavy rainfall, and even this real-life proof of the problem seems unable to move the stubborn planners on Bradford Council.”
Mr Davies had secured a debate on planning issues in the Shipley area and told MPs there was too little knowledge and technical skill to assess the flood risk caused by water rising through the ground.
Mr Davies added: “A British Geological Survey Map clearly shows that parts of the Shipley Constituency have a high susceptibility to ground water flooding. Indeed the map shows that at the Bingley Road and Derry Hill sites in Menston possibly 50 per cent of the site is classified as being at very high risk of flooding.”
Controversial developments at Buck Lane in Baildon and Crack Lane in Wilsden had also been given the go ahead despite local opposition.
Local Government Minister Stephen Williams said he was unable to comment on the Bingley Road/Derry Hill planning application but asked Mr Davies to write to the department setting out the flooding concerns.