CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a new cemetery in a rural area of the district are likely to be refused next week.

An application to create a multi faith cemetery on Old Allen Road, between Thornton and Wilsden, was submitted to Bradford Council in Summer 2020.

Since then it has attracted over 650 objections, including one from Shipley MP Philip Davies and another from Wilsden Parish Council.

When members of the Council's Regulatory and Appeals Committee meet to decide on the plans on Thursday, planning officers will urge them to refuse the proposals for a variety of reasons, ranging from the impact on the surrounding countryside to the increase in traffic the cemetery would bring to the isolated area.

Submitted by Amar Hussain, the application said the site would provide 1,000 burial spaces, a garden of tranquility and a car park for 35 vehicles.

It acknowledged that the site was in Green belt, but argued there were few non-greenbelt sites in the District suitable for a cemetery.

In his response to the application, Shipley MP Philip Davies said: "I am particularly concerned that the narrow roads nearby are unsuitable for lots of traffic plus there are only 35 parking spaces and nearby roads are unsuitable for overflow parking. It is in the Greenbelt, there is no public transport, no pavement on Old Allen Road and there will be a detrimental impact on wildlife."

Other objectors said the cemetery would effect their house prices, that it could lead to a rise in anti social behaviour, and that the roads around the site would not come with funeral traffic.

Others argued that cemeteries should be built on urban brownfield sites, not in the countryside.

Highways officers raised serious concerns over the plans. They pointed out that with no pedestrian routes to the site - and the nearest bus route being over a mile and a half away, the vast majority of mourners would likely come to the cemetery via car.

They argue that it would be likely that large funerals would lead to overspill parking on the narrow surrounding roads.

Their report says: "The site is in a remote, rural, unsustainable location and it is most likely that all attendees would travel by car.

"Old Allen Road and all roads in this vicinity are rural / semi-rural with no footways, no street lighting and narrow width.

"There have been a high number of accidents at the junction of Back Lane with Allerton Road - a close by junction, with 10 recorded road traffic accidents in the past three years, plus two others approaching the junction.

"The proposal would be likely to lead to an intensification of use of these rural roads and substandard junctions."

Officers recommend the plans be refused for five reasons - that it is an inappropriate development in the Green Belt, that it would be out of keeping with the Thornton and Queensbury Landscape Character Area, that it would harm nearby listed buildings, that the increase of traffic to the sight would cause highway safety issues, and that the increase in visitors would harm local residential amenity.