Campaigners are angry that a major decision on a 400-home development on green fields near Bingley will be made in Bradford rather than the Aire Valley.
Councillors on the Shipley Planning Panel will decide whether Redrow and Bellway will be given permission to build a housing estate in Sty Lane, Micklethwaite, next to the Leeds- Liverpool Canal.
Greenhill Action Group (GAG), which is fighting the proposals, said there had been assurances from the Council that the “hugely important” decision would be made at Bingley Arts Centre.
But in an unusual move, Bradford Council has decided to hold the meeting at City Hall, Bradford, on Tuesday, July 5.
Mick Meares, GAG vice chairman, said: “I think they are making it as awkward as possible for people from Bingley to come to the meeting to prevent them from having their say.”
Bradford Council’s planning department initially told GAG the arts centre had been ruled out as a venue because of “cost implications”, said Mr Meares.
He wrote to the planning department, offering to pay for the hire of the centre in Main Street, but was told that would be “unlawful”, he said.
However, GAG’s lawyers have said there would be no legal barrier to the group paying for the hire of the Bingley venue and it has now been booked as a “contingency”.
Mr Meares has now written to Bradford Council’s chief executive, Tony Reeves, and Councillor Shabir Hussain, chairman of the Shipley Panning Panel, asking for an explanation.
He said: “We were told the arts centre was booked but we made our own enquiries only to find out that it is fully available on July 5."
Councillor Hussain (Lab, Manningham) said: “As far as we are concerned, we have done the best that we can.
“It is not our purpose to upset people and the members of the planning panel will take everything into consideration when making their decision.”
No-one from Bradford Council was available to comment on the claims
- Read the full story Friday’s T&A