KEIGHLEY’S MP has welcomed a housing minister’s warning that green belt land in Bradford should only be developed in exceptional circumstances.

Conservative MP Kris Hopkins said he agreed with housing minister Gavin Barwell, who spoke out over Bradford Council’s under-development Local Plan.

Mr Hopkins said: “New housing in the district should be concentrated on the areas of greatest need and where there is no shortage of brownfield land.”

Last week the Government lifted a holding direction on the Local Plan, which was placed after Shipley MP Philip Davies raised concerns about the loss of green belt in Wharfedale.

Bradford’s three Labour MPs welcomed the lifting of the order, but Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, said new housing also had to come with new infrastructure to support it.

He said: "There is an undeniable need for more housing in Bradford, but it remains vitally important that before any new homes and developments are built, they are met with an equal investment in infrastructure and services such as transport connections, schools, and doctors, as well as others, so they do not overwhelm existing services with demand.”

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, said: “Bradford needs new good quality housing to support its growing population.

"Bradford’s locally elected representatives are best placed to take decisions about the district’s future housing needs.”

Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West, said: “I know that the Council have worked extremely hard on the Bradford Local Plan and will be pleased that they can now press ahead after the government’s unusual holding direction has been lifted."