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Angry communities face fresh assaults on their green spaces
Updated 9:31am Monday 14th July 2014 in News
Councillor David Heseltine opposes to the proposed housing development at a field off Primrose Lane, Bingley
ANGRY communities across the district are facing a series of fresh assaults on their green spaces.
After residents in Sandy Lane, Bradford, last week spoke of their determination to battle plans to build homes on pasture land off Wilsden Road, three other neighbourhoods are now mounting fights against yet more housing planned for fields or open spaces.
In Bingley, a landowner wants to build 61 houses on the green belt.
The Hartley Property Trust has applied to build 50 family homes for private sale and 11 affordable homes at Milner Fields, Primrose Lane, Gilstead.
Building on the green belt is usually strictly off-limits, but Bradford Council is looking to release some green belt land for housing under its Local Plan, and has said this site would be 'potentially suitable' for development.
The Trust's application says the site "has potential for redevelopment to add to the stock of new build family housing for the Aire Valley in an established residential area".
But so far nine locals have sent in strong objections to Council planners.
And ward councillor David Heseltine (Con, Bingley) was furious at the idea of losing another patch of countryside.
He said: "We can't just carry on concreting everything over.
"It's a beautiful valley but it gets to a point where you spoil it, particularly when there's regeneration sites which have lain dormant for years."
So far, eight people have written in with concerns at the loss of valuable green fields when brownfield sites are available, and concerns over traffic and overloaded local facilities.
Persimmon's application said the plan included an area of public open space, "which will now be available for the public, rather than owned privately".
Although the site is theoretically previously-developed land because a housing estate once stood there, locals say it is one of the few green areas where youngsters can play.
One objector, Abdul Rashid, said: "My grandchildren play on the field, as well as other children from the local community.
"There is no other greenery in this area other than on Heaton Road, therefore it is important that this area is kept as it is for the local community to use."
Philip Davies MP has pledged his support to those opposing the Milner Fields development in Gilstead and blasted Bradford Council, claiming they have a "ridiculous policy" of earmarking green belt land on the outskirts of the city for redevelopment.
He said: "I will do everything I can to oppose these plans.
"There is a rising population in inner city Bradford. The only way to help this is to redevelop the centre of Bradford.
"I spend most of my time opposing developments like this.
"Bradford Council's solution to dealing with rising population in the centre of Bradford, is to build lots of houses in the Shipley constituency.
"It's a complete and utterly ridiculous policy.
"Once again, Bradford Council have not listened to the concerns from the people of Bingley and Gilstead."