A PUBLIC meeting should be held to give people the chance to have their say over Keighley’s ‘green space’, it is claimed.

Bradford Council wants to build a public-sector hub, costing an estimated £19 million, on the former college site.

But a new campaign was launched earlier this month as calls continue to grow for the land, in North Street, to be retained as a green area.

Now the town’s Rotary club says that if the council is adamant it’s pushing ahead with the hub, leaders should explain to townspeople why the building is necessary and give the public a chance to respond.

It has written to council leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, over the issue.

In the letter, club president Mary Parker and environmental officer Maurice Baren say that a well laid-out and properly managed green space in the middle of the town would provide “significant benefit” to the whole community.

“There would be room for quite a large number of trees which would considerably reduce atmospheric pollution – both by allowing traffic fumes to dissipate and by capturing carbon and damaging particulates from vehicle emissions,” they say.

“Shoppers, families and visitors to the town could enjoy the open space. They could relax and meet friends all within a few strides of the bus station and the town centre’s retail amenities.

“Instead Bradford Council has decided that the green space should be built upon, in order to provide a ‘hub’. This would involve considerable excavation and construction costs, traffic and pedestrian disruption, and noise and increased pollution during the building phase and would create walls and buildings which would trap the fumes from traffic waiting at – and proceeding through – the lights at the top of Cavendish Street. All the services which would be moved into the ‘hub’ are already available within a short distance.

“As local residents and council tax payers, we have not been consulted about this or given any opportunity to argue against it.”

Bradford Council says there are “no plans” to keep the green area as a park.

It adds that there are already “plenty” of accessible green spaces – such as Church Green and Cliffe Castle and Devonshire parks – nearby for people to enjoy.