PLANS to build 72 affordable homes in Denholme are likely to be approved, despite concerns the scheme could lead to sections of flagship cycle route being "substandard."

The former Station Sawmill site near Doe Park Reservoir in Denholme has long been earmarked for housing.

Previous development schemes have been approved, but permission has expired before work began.

Recently a new application to build 72 affordable homes on the site, the former Denholme Rail Station, was submitted to Bradford Council by Together Housing and GT Yorkshire.

On Thursday members of the Council's Regulatory and Appeals Committee will decide whether to allow the plans to go ahead.

Housing plan for former pub site in Denholme

There have been numerous objections to the application, including from Shipley MP Philip Davies.

And one issue raised by objectors relates to a planned cycle trail that will pass through the site.

The Great Northern Railway Trail is a cycle and walking trail that will eventually link Keighley to Halifax and runs along the old rail line.

Part of the trail will pass through this housing site, and previous applications allowed space for a 3 metre track and a 1 metre verge either side.

However, the proposals for the trail through the most up to date development have been described as "completely unacceptable."

While previous plans for the site included a 5 metre wide cycle way, members of the Great Northern Railway Trail development group say the current application would require the trail to pass over resident's properties and driveways. It would also be much narrower than 5 metres through some sections of the site. Objecting to the plans, the group says: "The plans are totally unacceptable.

"The current proposals would put into conflict users of the route and up to nine properties and their driveways in the northeast corner of the site.

"One of the main purposes of the trail extending to Denholme is to allow children to travel safely to Parkside school. The conflict between young children and the movement of reversing traffic on the estate would present a real risk to their safety. The rest of the route is presently ‘traffic free’.

"This is a flagship project in the Bradford district and needs to be given more prominence."

A report prepared by planning officers, which will be presented to the committee on Thursday, says that the delivery of a large number of affordable homes, and planned improvements to Station Road as part of the scheme, would mitigate any shortfalls in the cycling scheme.

The report says: "The provision of a 3-metre wide surfaced path with 1-2m verges through the majority of the site is considered a reasonable solution to provide the Great Northern Railway Trail route whilst balancing the need for affordable housing. The scheme will deliver a valuable contribution towards the Council’s housing need and delivery of affordable housing, which outweighs the relatively minor elements of substandard design of the cycle route."

Officers suggest that if members agree that the plans should be approved, conditions should include improvement work to Station Road, electric car charging points at each home and the provision of bird and bat boxes on each house.

The Committee meets remotely at 10am on Thursday, although this item will not be discussed until after 1pm. The meeting can be viewed by visiting