The battle to prevent thousands of houses being built in the valley between two historic villages has reached a “critical” point, campaigners were told last night.

Those who attended a meeting of the Tong and Fulneck Valley Association were told that consultants GVA Grimley are on the verge of publishing the results of a crucial study into the future development of the area.

Campaigners who attended last night’s meeting at the Holiday Inn, Tong, expressed their concern for the green belt land between the Holme Wood estate and the historic villages of Tong and Fulneck, bounded by the ancient Black Carr Woods.

Speaking at the meeting, Gordon Dey, vicar of Holme Wood and chairman of the association, said: “Our major concern has been and still is the threat of housing development extending out from the Holme Wood estate into the adjoining part of the green belt falling within the boundaries of Bradford Council.

“These proposals were first outlined in a consultative document published in 2008 when it became clear that, as part of the then Government’s centrally-imposed house building obligations which required Bradford to produce 50,000 new homes by 2026, Bradford Council was considering an option to build up to 7,500 houses on green belt around Tong.

“The change of Government has led to the revoking of legislation that had given Bradford a mandatory housing target, so Bradford is no longer bound by that legislation to build a certain number of houses at the behest of regional planning authorities. But, nevertheless, Bradford Council is still going ahead with substantial building projects.

“With the consultants’ report about to be released, I am expecting that, over the course of the next two or three weeks, it will become clear as to whether or not the Council is committed to large-scale development in the Tong Valley. We are at a critical point.”

Mr Dey said the association set up to ‘save Tong valley’ now had nearly 300 members, divided fairly equally between the Pudsey and Fulneck part of the valley and the Tong and Holme Wood side.

He said many people from Drighlington and Morley were also backing the campaign, while Pudsey Civic Society had contributed £1,000 to the association’s funds.

John Finnigan, secretary of the association and deputy chairman of Tong and Holme Wood Parochial Parish Council, said: “We await the results of the consultants’ report with interest.”

He said he understood the need for new housing in the district, but said it had to be the right sort of housing in the right location.

He said there were fears that housing in Tong Valley would cause environmental damage and social damage in terms of community sustainability.