RESIDENTS in Shipley have launched a campaign to protect "precious" greenspace earmarked as a possible future housing site in Bradford's Local Plan.

The Local Plan is a document that sets out where development should, and should not take place in the Bradford district between now and 2038.

A draft of the plan lists hundreds of possible housing sites, as well as sites for future business developments.

To meet housing targets imposed by Government, around 1,700 homes need to be built in the district each year – over 30,000 in the lifetime of the plan. A consultation on the plan began early in February and ends on Wednesday.

It comes as the Council voted against extending the period people can have their say on its controversial Local Plan – despite claims the consultation should not be held during a pandemic.  

Under the local plan, the Council earmarked fields -  surrounding Wycliffe Road, Wycliffe Gardens, Belmont Crescent, Moor View Avenue and Thompson Street - in Shipley for a development of 44 homes.

But in an area mostly populated with young children, families and dog walkers, the green space has become a much loved meeting place for locals since the 1960's.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

And with the lockdown encouraging more families to make the most of the space, many were inspired to create the 'Save Wycliffe Green Space' campaign and call for those nearby to object.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, resident and grandparent Rhona North said: "It’s just used by so many in so many different ways. There’s big rocks up it and you can see kids running, chasing up to the rocks and back, playing games.

"You can hear the children’s laughter. Families use it to picnic in the Summer. Kids have their birthday parties up there. Dog walkers use it. They stop and chat.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"It’s about just building relationships, chatting to people, recognising their dogs. People just come and sit at the top of it, just to gaze down and reflect. Some people use it for prayer. It’s just a very precious place. There’s some lovely wild flowers on it as well and the trees."

Kay Bardsley has lived next to the green space for 30 years and watched how her three children enjoyed playing there.

She said: “Our children have used the space over the years to play with friends, for football matches, rounders and other sporting activities. We have held birthday parties on the green, treasure hunts and hiked across it every day on the school run. The space has been used for socially distant picnics, sunbathing, exercise and just as an essential space to get out of the house and enjoy the view.

"The green is surrounded by flats and terraced housing with no gardens.  This is our community space and it is essential to the life and well-being of this community.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"I cannot believe that the council are even considering taking it away, particularly when it’s many policy documents purport to value and protect green space."

Tamsin Jones, who has lived in the area for 15 years with her son, added: "Even now that my son has grown up, I still love the space - anyone can walk, sit here and admire the fantastic view across Saltaire and Baildon Moor. It's relaxing and inspiring - in fact it has inspired at least one local artist."

Anyone who wishes to object can do so by searching planning reference SH3/H up until the deadline of March 24, 2021.

To have your say on the plan, visit here. 

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