PLANS to build more than 150 affordable houses on a brownfield site in the district will soon be unveiled.

A major housing association said it expected to submit a planning application for the ‘Weavestyle’ site in Silsden by the end of November.

The organisation, which does not want to be named at present, has been working on the project for many months.

It recently approached councillors with details of the plan, which would see a long-awaited reuse of the site of the former Riverside Works off Keighley Road.

The plan follows an unsuccessful planning application in 2015 by a private developer to build a supermarket and a filling station on the site, and a successful 2018 application to build 142 houses with up to 20% affordable homes, which did not come to fruition.

In the nine years the site has been derelict, several other major projects have ‘gone live’ on the same side of Silsden - between the town and the Aire Valley Road - including an Aldi supermarket and the Harron Homes and Barrett housing developments.

News of the latest project came as Bradford Council last Thursday approved an application by Yorkshire Housing for a development of 61 affordable houses in Long Lee.

News of such a large influx of affordable housing for people in the Keighley constituency has been welcomed by councillors, but they warned that self-contained estates were not the ideal way of creating quality homes for people on low incomes.

District councillor Adrian Naylor, whose Craven ward includes the Silsden housing site, said he was looking forward to seeing details of the proposal for approximately 155 affordable houses, which he expected to be a mix of rented and shared equity homes.

But he said: “While I welcome these houses and there is a need for them, the difficulty is that it’s creating a large estate with one kind of housing.

“My concern is that we going back to the 50s and 60s by building whole estates of affordable housing. In the 21st-century we should look wherever possible to have mixed types of housing together, with very little difference between quality standards.

“In Silsden and Keighley, we’ve seen the development of housing estates that developers know they can sell at a good profit – executive homes that won’t be affordable to people who live and work in the area.

“Lots of developers elsewhere are pricing out people you are just starting out on the property ladder. My concern is that we create a ghetto where it’s just one type of house.”

Cllr Malcolm Slater, whose Keighley East ward includes Long Lee, said new affordable housing was welcome across the town to counter the dwindling numbers since 2010.

But he added: “The definition of ‘affordable housing’ is not always fully clear.  And it may be better to have them as part of a development, rather than a large number on one site.”

Worth Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen said all that large housing developments needed to be a mix of types and age groups, from first-time buyer homes and affordable housing to family homes and older people’s bungalows.

She added: “We want people to stay and live in the area. You need to take the affordable element through to the building stage, rather than developers coming back to the council to say they can’t afford to include them them. Developers have to be held to account.”

Bradford Council usually demands private developers build a small proportion of affordable housing on major new estates, but in recent years some developers have returned to say they cannot afford to provide the affordable houses on site, instead handing over a sum of money so they can be built elsewhere.