A fresh threat to what residents say is treasured green space has emerged in Apperley Bridge, Bradford, where plans to build 275 homes have been drawn up.

The proposed development by building giant Miller Homes would replace fields currently filled with cows and their calves with an estate of mixed housing feeding traffic on to Apperley Road.

Leaflets revealing the plan for Simpson’s Green have been delivered to 350 affected homes and the scale of the proposal has been unveiled during a consultation meeting at Greengates Primary School.

But locals have already mounted a campaign to fight the plan, said Apperley Road resident Jo Welding, “This green space is one of the green jewels in Bradford's crown and the proposed Simpson’s Green development will ride roughshod over it,” said Mrs Welding, a radio jounalist, whose children sported home-made tee-shirts saying “Cowses Not Houses” at the meeting.

“It’s such a beautiful spot, full of nature and wildlife – all the children love it and visitors come from all over to enjoy the space. I’m shocked anyone feels there is a need for such a development when there are plenty of brown field sites – it’s just so unnecessary.

“The impact on things like traffic and local schools would be terrible.”

The site is roughly triangular and sits between the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and to the side of Apperley Road as it crosses the waterway.

Another protester is child minder Rebecca Partridge, of Apperley Road.

“Two new housing developments are already planned within a mile of here. The idea that another is being considered is just preposterous,” she said..

“Using up all the green space for yet more building projects – what kind of message is that for future generations?”

Businessman David Howcroft, who owns Madeley Dairies, said: “The traffic on Apperley Road is already horrendous. Many people use it as a rat run despite it being single lane over the canal bridge. In fact one of my vans was written off by a motorist while it was parked outside my house. Upwards of 500 more cars would be more than the infrastructure can cope with.”

The presentation of the plan was run by consultants Johnson Brook on behalf of Miller Homes and spokesman Clive Brook said this was the start of the planning process.

“We’re at a very early stage and what was shown was a draft masterplan for development so the numbers of homes may alter,” said Mr Brook.

“Miller Homes produce very high quality developments and it will be a well-designed site.”

Mr Brook confirmed Miller Homes has a contractual agreement with the landowner regarding future development of the site which he said had been removed from Green Belt status in 2004 and was designated for long-tem future development.

“We are are hoping to put in a full application to the Council in mid-September and expect the process to take about three months,” he said.