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Holme Wood and Tong green belt housing bid recommended
The neighbourhood development plan is designed to regenerate the estate to create a sustainable community as well as to explore the potential for growth.
It considered two options for the area – one would see incremental change with 600 homes being built on the estate and another would see 2,700 homes built. The second option was agreed yesterday at a meeting of the executive and involves developing housing sites within the estate as well as three “urban extension” sites in the green belt designed to attract additional funds to subsidise improvements to the Holme Wood neighbourhood.
As part of the consultation, almost 230 residents filled in questionnaires regarding the development plan. Two-thirds preferred the option for 600 homes, which would largely be built on urban sites such as vacant and underused land. The option for 2,700 homes, which was recommended to councillors, was favoured by 16 per cent of respondents.
However, of the respondents who live in Holme Wood, 40 per cent supported option two.
There were claims that a number of objections were from people who did not live in the area and would therefore not be directly affected.
Council leader Ian Greenwood said of a resolution by Leeds Council to object to the proposals: “Leeds Council and Leeds residents do not decide the planning policy of Bradford Council.”
He added: “I understand people’s concerns and don’t dismiss them. But I think that often when people say they haven’t been consulted, what they actually mean is they don’t agree.”
About a dozen objectors attended the meeting, including Canon Gordon Dey, chairman of the Save Tong and Fulneck Valley Association.
He told councillors: “I do believe that a hugely disproportionate amount of housing is being proposed and this will be damaging for these communities and will destroy hugely strategic green land in the process.”
He added that a health assessment document made serious statements about the implications of large-scale building on the health of the community.
However, all three ward councillors backed the plans for 2,700 homes saying it was the only way to ensure the investment needed on the estate to make it sustainable for the future.