Developers behind plans for a huge housing estate could include safety improvements at an “accident blackspot” in a bid to persuade the authority to drop its last remaining major objection to the controversial scheme.
A public inquiry continued yesterday into a planning appeal by Redrow and Bellway to build up to 440 homes in Sty Lane, Micklethwaite, near Bingley.
Government-appointed planning inspector Richard Clegg is being asked to reverse a decision by Bradford Council to refuse the plans after concerns about access to the proposed development over a new canal swing bridge crossing the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
Evidence into the number of cars which would be using the bridge has been withdrawn by the Council along with expert advice about the heritage of the green field site.
One of the few remaining points of contention between the developers and the Council is an emergency access from the proposed site from Oakwood Drive.
That would be used when the proposed swing bridge is broken or closed for maintenance, and leads onto Lady Lane.
Richard Gelder, the Council’s transport development manager, told the hearing that the junction of Oakwood Drive and Lady Lane was “dangerous”. He said the sloping junction and another section of Lady Lane had been added to improvements but no money had been made available.
Andrew Williamson, for the developers, said to Mr Gelder: “If we could engineer an improvement to that junction as a result of this development, it would actually be a positive. If we can remove an accident blackspot, which is on a site of concern, that is a reason for agreeing planning permission not refusing it. Wouldn’t you agree?”
He said: “Yes, I would agree.”
Greenhill Action Group (GAG) which has opposed the Sty Lane development, describing it as a “crackpot scheme doomed to failure.”
Jack Smyth, the group’s barrister, called traffic expert Geoff Bowman to give evidence at yesterday’s hearing. Mr Bowman, who has 25 years experience of traffic planning, said there was “no guarantee” any traffic improvements could be delivered at the junction. The public inquiry was due to continue today at City Hall.