A HOUSING development could wreck plans for a major park and ride scheme in Bradford - according to Council officers.

Earlier this year Caddick Land submitted a planning application to build 150 homes for rent on land to the south of Rooley Crescent, off the busy Rooley Avenue route in Odsal.

The plans have proved to be controversial, with 148 people submitting objections to the application and a petition signed by 414 people calling for the scheme to be scrapped.

Next week that application will go before a Council planning board, and members will be advised to refuse the scheme.

One reason officers have recommended refusal is that the development would “sterilise” plans for a park and ride scheme - seen as a key measure of reducing air pollution in Bradford.

The proposed scheme aims to reduce congestion on Bradford’s streets by allowing people coming into the city from the M606 to park on Council owned land off Staithgate Lane. They would then be able to travel into the city centre via bus.

The car park would have space for around 500 vehicles.

Proposed park and ride scheme could help reduce traffic in Bradford

At a recent meeting of the Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee members were told that electric buses could be used as part of the park and ride scheme to make it even more environmentally friendly.

Although the park and ride schemes are still at an early stage, officers say the housing scheme should be refused to keep the plans alive and allow the scheme to be moved forward “if and when deemed appropriate.”

The land is set aside for a park and ride in the Council’s Local Plan.

For a successful park and ride scheme to be introduced, part of the site proposed for housing would be needed for access.

Members will be told that a bid to fund the scheme through the government’s “Transforming Cities Fund Stage 2 Big Bid” has been submitted.

The planning application for the site said: “The development will help to diversify the housing offer in the area, and provide high quality, affordable homes to those that cannot, or do not yet wish to, purchase a property. Renting has become increasingly mainstream in recent times, rather than something reserved for students and those requiring a temporary stop-gap.”

The report going to the committee says: “It is not considered that any proposal for residential development within the application site would be supported by the Highways Department as it would effectively sterilise the delivery of any future potential Park and Ride Scheme on land to the west accessing via this land.

“This Scheme is now considered to be an important element of the Councils aims in reducing air emission pollution in Bradford through reductions in road traffic.

“In terms of the likely size of the Park and Ride Scheme it is envisaged that a minimum 500 spaces would be required but this could increase as more detailed designs are undertaken.”

As well as the impact on the park and ride, Councillors will also be told that the plans to not include an adequate affordable housing contribution, and that the plans do not include adequate information of the risk of flooding at the site.

And the committee will also hear of the objections from residents. These include from one objector who has said: “Don’t think anything will be done as people in positions of power who are making these decisions can be enticed to change their decisions.” Another said: “You councillors are not bothered as you don’t live here.” and another questions “Have Councillors and Planning Staff done any research into the application?”

And one objector raises the issue of the planned park and ride, saying scrapping the scheme to allow a housing development would show “disloyalty to the citizens of the city.”

The committee meets in City Hall at 10am on Thursday December 5.