Bradford Council’s urge to build on Aire Valley greenfield sites is a ‘senseless answer’ to the needs of its booming inner city population and creates country homes which those people simply do not want, Shipley MP Philip Davies has claimed.

Mr Davies said there was no logic to the Council’s attitude and warned it might cause friction in the district.

“I’m guessing that any rise in the centre’s population is overwhelmingly in the inner city,” Mr Davies said.

“If that is the case, then the Council are using that as an excuse to concrete over my constituency.

“And that is disastrous for community cohesion and will build up a resentment that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

“The Council’s strategy on planning is completely senseless and I have to stop them building houses all over my constituency.

“You don’t eleviate a rising population in the city centre by building houses in places like Menston and Micklethwaite.

“It’s just a numbers game at the Council, if there are more people in Bradford, then that must mean more houses need to be built out of town.

“But the way they do it makes no sense and is just so they can tick boxes.

“If you go and speak to any estate agent, they will tell you that nobody from Bradford centre ever buys those houses.”

Mr Davies said that if urban brownfield sites were developed, that might bring in new residents who would spend their money in Bradford.

“Also the Council is always banging on about regeneration in the centre, but nobody who lives in places like Menston or Micklethwaite ever, ever goes to shop in Bradford,” he said.

“They will always just hop on a train and go straight into Leeds.

“The Council couldn’t be doing anything worse – it flies in the face of logic to keep concreting over the green fields and building these estates which never have any proper infrastructure.

“And leading on from that, those policies create incredible traffic problems, but the Council seems happy to just sit back and watch the queues and tailbacks get longer and longer as more people try to drive from their new homes through our local bottlenecks.

“Trying to get through Shipley, Saltaire or Baildon during rush hours is absolutely horrific – which is one reason we desperately need a Shipley Eastern Bypass.”

He said his time was increasingly devoted to dealing with people’s concerns about local issues and especially planning matters.

“I have regular meetings with the Council’s chief executive Tony Reeves and, frankly, I might as well play tape recordings of our previous meetings – it’s always the same, we just go through the same arguments over the Council’s planning strategy.”

And he said his constituents were certainly frustrated with the Council’s high-handed behaviour on house-building.

“With the developments on Dairy Hill and Bingley Road, Menston Parish Council organised a referendum which had huge 49 per cent turnout and 98 per cent of those voted against any new homes.

“Now, nobody can be in any doubt about what the local people thought about that.

“But Labour and Lib Dem councillors from other parts of the district came along and just rode roughshod over local opinion.

“It’s not done out of any malice, they simply just don’t care about the Aire Valley.”

And Mr Davies said all the talk of local devolution of authority powers paled against the strength of Aire Valley feeling against Bradford.

“Lots of my constituents don’t want to be governed by Bradford and by ignoring public opinion over things like planning, the Council alienates people even further.”

Mr Davies said his colleague, Keighley MP Kris Hopkins, had suggested forming a new local authority made up of Shipley and Keighley, which would be roughly the same size as Calderdale.

“I’m sure many of my constituents would jump at the chance of an Aire Valley district authority,” Mr Davies said.

“If I had a penny for everytime someone says to me ‘we pay most of Bradford’s council taxes and they never spend it on us’ – I’d be doing very well,” Mr Davies said.