Inquiry blow for campaigners fighting plans to build homes at Derry Hill, Menston (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Inquiry blow for campaigners fighting plans to build homes at Derry Hill, Menston
7:00am Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
Land controversially earmarked for more than 170 homes should not be designated as a village green, according to an independent inspector.
Bradford Council will now make a final decision on whether land at Derry Hill, in Menston, should be afforded village green status after the application by campaigners opposing plans for the new homes.
But after a week-long public inquiry into the application in August, David Manley QC has written to the Council to recommend the bid is denied.
The report is the latest blow to campaigners trying to stop homes being built at Derry Hill.
Earlier this year, councillors granted planning permission to Barratt Homes for the new houses, subject to several conditions. In his report to the Council, Mr Manley says the evidence from people who say they used the fields for leisure was “occasional and sporadic” and not enough to see it registered as common land.
During the inquiry, the inspector had heard from witnesses who said they had used the land during the past 20 years and objectors who said use was limited as the land was being farmed.
“The limited evidence of recreational use, other than the footpath observed by the objector’s witnesses, is consistent with my previous finding that third party recreational use of the land was limited and sporadic,” the report says.
“It most certainly was not on such a scale or of such a character to put the landowner and/or his agents on notice that a recreational use as of right was being asserted.
“I have no hesitation in recommending that the application should be rejected.”
A Council panel will meet next Thursday to make a decision following the recommendations.
The Council’s director of strategic regeneration and culture, Barra Mac Ruairi, said: “We have received the planning inspector’s recommendation on the application for land at Derry Hill, Menston, to become a new village green.
“The inspector’s report will be considered by members of the Miscellaneous Licences Panel who will decide on the matter on Thursday, October 18.”