A FOURTH attempt to build housing on a former garden centre site along the Leeds Liverpool Canal has been revealed.

Planning applications to build on the derelict Hirst Wood Nursery site on the outskirts of Saltaire have been refused twice by Bradford Council in recent years.

One of those refusals was later taken to appeal, with a Government planning inspector upholding the Council’s decision to block the development.

Now another application for the canalside site has been submitted by the Hartley Property Group.

This application seeks permission to build four, three-bed “Saltaire workers’ cottage” style homes on the former nursery site, which shut in 2009.

Previous plans to build on the site were refused over concerns that the land, in the Green Belt, on the edge of a World Heritage Site and next to the canal Conservation Area, was not suitable for such a development.

Officers also had concerns with the amount of extra traffic that the homes would bring to the site – which is accessed via a canal bridge.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The site off the Leeds Liverpool CanalThe site off the Leeds Liverpool Canal (Image: newsquest)

And when the appeal was dismissed, the Government inspector said: “The prominence of rather suburban dwellings on the adjoining site would detract from and diminish the significance of this (canalside) setting."

The new application says: “It is considered that due to site access issues for deliveries and lack of site space, the attraction for the site as a nursery operation has been significantly reduced.

“As such no tenant has been forthcoming despite marketing efforts to the contrary.

“As part of the (housing) development of the site enhanced habitat areas are proposed.

“The area will mitigate the loss of the trees and provide greatly improved habitat for wildlife; for dwelling, forage and transition.

“The zone will incorporate a number of measures including tree and hedge planting, bird boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog boxes.”

Referring to the previous concerns over traffic at the site, the application adds: “The level of traffic intensification likely to arise from the proposed development of four dwellings is modest and would have no discernible adverse impacts upon the rate of conflict over the bridge.

“Review of accident data shows that the existing levels of conflict, and those that were present when the site was previous operational as a nursery, can be safely accommodated.

“The site itself is readily accessible by sustainable modes of travel, including walking, cycling and public transport, providing future residents and other site users with a realistic alternative to travel by private car.”

A decision on the application is expected next month.