Proposals to build up to 895 homes on green fields in Steeton over the next 17 years will turn the village in to a “commuter hub” and create pressure on infrastructure and services, councillors have warned.

Bradford Council is looking to find room for 45,500 homes across the district by 2028 and has identified nine sites in Steeton as suitable for development as part of its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

Councillor Andrew Mallinson (Con, Craven) said he had “massive concerns” about the proposals.

“They are identifying Steeton and Eastburn as a commuting hub,” he said. “The Council is talking about improving public transport and rail links in the area but there is no real reference to creating employment. It focuses purely on additional housing.

“There is an indication within the reports that everyone within the vicinity of Steeton and Eastburn will have to commute somewhere down the Airedale Line or across in to North Yorkshire for employment.”

The proposed housing sites include 163 homes on fields between Airedale Hospital and Eastburn, 203 homes on green belt land partly within a flood zone at Summerhill Lane, 84 homes on farmland at Lyon Road, 57 homes in Sycamore Grove, Eastburn, and 46 homes in a potential flood zone near to the Damart Warehouse in Ings Road.

Grazing land in Parkway, which already has permission for 206 homes, is also included in the proposals along with smaller housing sites in Aireburn Avenue, Skipton Road and at Lyon House Farm.

Coun Mallinson added: “It is not acceptable to use up green belt land for housing. If we take Silsden into account as well, there is going to be a massive growth in population with nothing to support it. It is the last straw for Steeton. It is stripping away its identity as a village and creating a large population with no identity of its own.”

Councillor Adrian Naylor (Con, Craven) said a recently-approved application for 220 homes at Thornhill Road, Steeton, had raised questions about area’s infrastructure and its ability to cope with such a large increase in population.

“I sit on a committee looking at the impact of housing on the main sewer infrastructure,” said Coun Naylor.

“The main trunk sewer for the Aire Valley feeds through Steeton, Silsden and into Sutton. It is critical we don’t build these houses and say we need investment for the sewer then realise there is no money.”

Councillor Michael Kelly (Con, Craven) said significant investment was also needed in roads, schools and employment to sustain the proposed growth in population in Steeton.

“I can’t see what provision is being made for developing the infrastructure, which clearly can’t cope with the proposed increase in housing stock,” said Coun Kelly.

“Primary schools in Steeton and Silsden are full and the neighbouring primary school at Eastburn is almost full.

“The roads in and out of Steeton are congested now. Getting cars out of Thornhill Road and on to Skipton Road is awful, and that is without any extra traffic.

“I don’t see this being dealt with very well and I see nothing in any of the proposals that suggests that any of this has been thought through. I think it is an awful prospect and most of the residents are appalled by it.”