Planners' report on controversial Thackley homes development provokes howls of protest

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

A CONTROVERSIAL 270 home development at Cote Farm, Thackley, has been recommended for approval by Bradford planners to the dismay of objectors.

And in an unusual move they have now been urged by a senior councillor to send their own report on why they believe it should be refused to each of the councillors on the regulatory and appeals committee who meet next week to make their decision.

Liberal Democrat group leader, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Idle and Thackley) last night branded the official planning report as "inaccurate and an embarrassment".

And she has urged campaigners in the Cote Farm Action Group to post copies of its own 39-page report on the Persimmon Homes development to committee members.

"In 20 years as a councillor I've never seen such a poor and badly written report as this one - I'm astounded," Cllr Sunderland said.

"I am embarrassed by it. It's a collection of cut and pasted documents which fails to deal with the concerns of so many residents.

"It pays lip service to some areas of concern, yet totally ignore major issues."

Referring to the omission of any worries over increased traffic or lack of school places for any new families, Cllr Sunderland said:

"People who might buy one of these houses might rightly expect to have school places for their children - they won't have.

"And they might expect to be able to drive normally to work - they won't, they'll sit in Leeds Road traffic for 40 minutes.

"This report is an absolute insult to council members and hand on heart I cannot allow them to make any decision based on this shocking piece of work.

"So in an unprecedented step I have asked Cote Farm Action Group to send a copy of its own report to individual committee members so they can read it and then make an unbiased decision.

"Planning decisions should be made after a fair argument and this is development on land which the council has already protected as major urban green space and I hope it will be rejected."

Cote Farm Action Group campaigner Isobel Burgess gave its reaction to the report.

"This is a huge decision and this report is not thorough and has not been thought through," she said.

"It's full of contradictions with the majority of opinions in it actually being against the proposal.

"Objections from more than 1,000 people are reduced to single bullet points - with not one mention of the lack of local school places.

"Are we supposed to believe not one person has raised that? I know for a fact that's not true."

The action group is urging all opponents to meet with banners and placards outside City Hall, Bradford at 9.30am on Thursday, September 4, prior to attending the Regulatory and Appeals Committee meeting at 10am.

Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire’s planning manager, Paul Thornton, said: “We welcome the officer’s decision to recommend the Cote Farm development proposals for planning approval, although we recognise that the matter has yet to heard by the planning committee.

“Over the last year, alongside the Council’s officers, we have worked hard to address responses from statutory bodies and feedback from the local community and adapted our application accordingly, which has resulted in the positive recommendation.”

A Miller Homes development at Simpson's Green, Apperley Bridge is also up for decision at the meeting and officers have also recommended it be approved.

Cllr Sunderland said that while also objecting to that proposal, in her opinion the officers' report was contrastingly well compiled.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:32am Fri 29 Aug 14

June Oh says...

Good we need more houses for growing population.
The usual reasons for objections put forward by the councilor apply all over Bradford and she should know that, lack of schools, services, roads etc.
Good we need more houses for growing population. The usual reasons for objections put forward by the councilor apply all over Bradford and she should know that, lack of schools, services, roads etc. June Oh
  • Score: -7

8:44am Fri 29 Aug 14

bluebluerobin says...

June Oh wrote:
Good we need more houses for growing population.
The usual reasons for objections put forward by the councilor apply all over Bradford and she should know that, lack of schools, services, roads etc.
With immigration and the birth rate soaring of course we need new houses, but why does the Council's ruling Labour Group allow them to be built on greenfields every time? Has it anything to do with developer's profits?
[quote][p][bold]June Oh[/bold] wrote: Good we need more houses for growing population. The usual reasons for objections put forward by the councilor apply all over Bradford and she should know that, lack of schools, services, roads etc.[/p][/quote]With immigration and the birth rate soaring of course we need new houses, but why does the Council's ruling Labour Group allow them to be built on greenfields every time? Has it anything to do with developer's profits? bluebluerobin
  • Score: 31

9:11am Fri 29 Aug 14

bachtothefuture says...

BantamMark wrote:
bluebluerobin wrote:
June Oh wrote:
Good we need more houses for growing population.
The usual reasons for objections put forward by the councilor apply all over Bradford and she should know that, lack of schools, services, roads etc.
With immigration and the birth rate soaring of course we need new houses, but why does the Council's ruling Labour Group allow them to be built on greenfields every time? Has it anything to do with developer's profits?
With the number of empty properties in this area already it would suggest their is no need for this development, add to that the current lack of schooling and the traffic congestion then it would suggest this development has been approved for one reason only.
As mentioned above for developers profit, for all of the above to be overlooked one has to ask what the people making the decision have been given as part of the deal.
It's not just the developer's profits. City Hall needs Council Tax revenue to pay the salaries of its officials. The posher the houses the more Council Tax. Simples.
[quote][p][bold]BantamMark[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bluebluerobin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]June Oh[/bold] wrote: Good we need more houses for growing population. The usual reasons for objections put forward by the councilor apply all over Bradford and she should know that, lack of schools, services, roads etc.[/p][/quote]With immigration and the birth rate soaring of course we need new houses, but why does the Council's ruling Labour Group allow them to be built on greenfields every time? Has it anything to do with developer's profits?[/p][/quote]With the number of empty properties in this area already it would suggest their is no need for this development, add to that the current lack of schooling and the traffic congestion then it would suggest this development has been approved for one reason only. As mentioned above for developers profit, for all of the above to be overlooked one has to ask what the people making the decision have been given as part of the deal.[/p][/quote]It's not just the developer's profits. City Hall needs Council Tax revenue to pay the salaries of its officials. The posher the houses the more Council Tax. Simples. bachtothefuture
  • Score: 26

9:20am Fri 29 Aug 14

FinlandStation says...

Unfortunately this is typical of the way BMDCs broken and partisan planning department works. Democracy and consultation are all about ticking the boxes and ignoring local opinion. This just happens to be one of the more blatant examples
Unfortunately this is typical of the way BMDCs broken and partisan planning department works. Democracy and consultation are all about ticking the boxes and ignoring local opinion. This just happens to be one of the more blatant examples FinlandStation
  • Score: 23

9:26am Fri 29 Aug 14

piltdownman says...

Planning at City Hall is a stitch up. Consultation is a joke. Before every Panel meeting there is a 15 minute legal session, closed to the public, during which our brave, upstanding and independent representatives are instructed by officials on which way to vote. It's as fixed, and just as big a bit of theatre as your average wrestling match.

City Hall treats us all as mugs.
Planning at City Hall is a stitch up. Consultation is a joke. Before every Panel meeting there is a 15 minute legal session, closed to the public, during which our brave, upstanding and independent representatives are instructed by officials on which way to vote. It's as fixed, and just as big a bit of theatre as your average wrestling match. City Hall treats us all as mugs. piltdownman
  • Score: 26

10:12am Fri 29 Aug 14

A650 says...

Traffic at Thackley is already a nightmare. I dread to think what it’ll be like after these homes are built. I’ll certainly be avoiding the road through Greengates and Thackley corner at rush hour.

The Council has no money for improving infrastructure to cope with these new developments yet they ignore this. All over the city they’re in areas with over subscribed schools and health services with congested roads or in areas that have roads built for farm traffic not hundreds of commuters.

We may need more homes but it’s short sighted to just build them without thinking about the needs of the people who’ll buy them and the effect on the areas they’re in. Seems as if planners in Bradford are just there to wave things through.
Traffic at Thackley is already a nightmare. I dread to think what it’ll be like after these homes are built. I’ll certainly be avoiding the road through Greengates and Thackley corner at rush hour. The Council has no money for improving infrastructure to cope with these new developments yet they ignore this. All over the city they’re in areas with over subscribed schools and health services with congested roads or in areas that have roads built for farm traffic not hundreds of commuters. We may need more homes but it’s short sighted to just build them without thinking about the needs of the people who’ll buy them and the effect on the areas they’re in. Seems as if planners in Bradford are just there to wave things through. A650
  • Score: 22

11:04am Fri 29 Aug 14

caledonia15 says...

Sadly we have here a planning department that is not fit for purpose, the damning remarks from Coun. Sunderland say it all, when she advocates using the report compiled by the action group then it clearly shows what a shambles of a planning service we have in Bradford. I have seen these so -called "professional" public servants in action at numerous planning meetings and seen them reduced to incompetent also-rans at a planning inquiry by solicitors representing one of our major developers, its frustrating to see these planners unable to justify their decisions when you realize how well paid they are.
Yet again we see planning permission likely to be granted on another of our precious Green field sites, - this is a disgrace, but there again its a win-win situation for Bradford Council, income form the "legal bribe" S106 payments, the new homes bonus scheme from the government and the council tax that these properties will generate, no wonder its going to be granted!. God help the new and existing residents in the area, yet more traffic on already to busy roads, no school places, health services already oversubscribed, sheer madness.
Sadly we have here a planning department that is not fit for purpose, the damning remarks from Coun. Sunderland say it all, when she advocates using the report compiled by the action group then it clearly shows what a shambles of a planning service we have in Bradford. I have seen these so -called "professional" public servants in action at numerous planning meetings and seen them reduced to incompetent also-rans at a planning inquiry by solicitors representing one of our major developers, its frustrating to see these planners unable to justify their decisions when you realize how well paid they are. Yet again we see planning permission likely to be granted on another of our precious Green field sites, - this is a disgrace, but there again its a win-win situation for Bradford Council, income form the "legal bribe" S106 payments, the new homes bonus scheme from the government and the council tax that these properties will generate, no wonder its going to be granted!. God help the new and existing residents in the area, yet more traffic on already to busy roads, no school places, health services already oversubscribed, sheer madness. caledonia15
  • Score: 15

12:47pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Robin of Loxley says...

'...provokes howls of protest.


Were there wolves protesting ?
[quote]'...provokes howls of protest. [/quote] Were there wolves protesting ? Robin of Loxley
  • Score: 1

1:25pm Fri 29 Aug 14

baildongreen says...

It was a developer driven, politically subverted planning process that destroyed Bradford as a city during the 1950s and 60s. The same corrupt set of influences is now destroying what's left of our countryside.

It's all about the money.
It was a developer driven, politically subverted planning process that destroyed Bradford as a city during the 1950s and 60s. The same corrupt set of influences is now destroying what's left of our countryside. It's all about the money. baildongreen
  • Score: 15

5:59pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Andrew_ide says...

Can we suggest that all members of the committee meet at Costa at Greengates at 7.30am on the day of the meeting and drive from there to Shipley, it will hopefully demonstrate the issue here. They could then pop back to Thackley and Idle to visit the local schools before the meeting and count how many spaces there will be for the increased population they are proposing to move into the area.

They might just get to the meeting on time.
Can we suggest that all members of the committee meet at Costa at Greengates at 7.30am on the day of the meeting and drive from there to Shipley, it will hopefully demonstrate the issue here. They could then pop back to Thackley and Idle to visit the local schools before the meeting and count how many spaces there will be for the increased population they are proposing to move into the area. They might just get to the meeting on time. Andrew_ide
  • Score: 8

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree