A new strip of parkland linking Bradford and Shipley could be created as part of a long-term plan for the Canal Road corridor.

The new Canal Road Greenway would have routes for cyclists and pedestrians, water features and a ‘linear park’ between the town and city.

The idea would be a replacement for Bradford Council’s long-standing ambition to reopen the Bradford Canal, which could be shelved due to a lack of money.

The proposal has been set out in the Area Action Plan, a draft document that will shape the area’s development over the next 15 years.

The planners’ report says: “With the change in economic circumstances and competing development priorities, the reopening of the canal may not be economically feasible over the next ten years.”

But a high-quality new ‘green corridor’ could provide similar regeneration benefits, while also tracing the path of the canal, the report says.

Coun Val Slater, executive member for housing, planning and transport, said she was keen for businesses, retailers, residents and community groups to get involved and help shape the future development of the corridor.

The proposal also includes a long-awaited plan for an ‘urban eco development’ of more than 3,000 homes in the area.

There would be work on Bradford Beck to reduce the risk of flooding, improvements to Shipley and Frizinghall railway stations and better transport links in and out of Shipley.

New retail development would be restricted to the centres of Shipley and Bradford, to boost the high streets there.

But up to 40 per cent of the land set aside for development could be previously undeveloped, greenfield land.

Andrew Marshall, planning and transport strategy manager, said they were likely to need some greenfield land to meet the high demand for affordable homes.

As the Telegraph & Argus reported yesterday, the document is one of two Area Action Plans drawn up by the Council to show how it could regenerate its two priority areas – the other being the city centre.

Both plans are at an early stage and if the Council’s executive approves the first draft next Tuesday, the first public consultation will begin.

Vision For The Future of the Canal Road Corridor

Bradford Council is proposing to encourage the following development over the next 15 years:

Shipley Centre

  • Creating a more attractive and engaging market place and a public square, as a focus for the town centre
  • Refurbishing shops to make them more attractive to new tenants
  • Refurbishing the Market Hall, possibly by keeping the ground floor for retail while turning upper floors into offices and homes
  • Redeveloping the land between Market Street and Otley Road to create a better gateway to the town, possibly with new shops and leisure facilities
  • Using land to the east of the library and south of Market Square for a new mixed-use development

Dockfield Road Area

  • Between 300 and 400 new homes in total
  • Redeveloping a former cinema and vacant buildings along Briggate
  • Converting Regent House into homes
  • Linking the new Canal Road Greenway to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal along the route of the canal and Dock Lane
  • Redeveloping land between Dock Lane and Leeds Road for residential or business use

Shipley East

  • Building 250 to 300 new homes
  • Enhancing the green space alongside the Bradford Beck
  • Creating new open space as part of the new ‘linear park’
  • Redeveloping flats to the east of Crag Road
  • Improving Shipley station with better cycle and car parking facilities, and possibly a new multi-storey car park

Bolton Woods

  • Between 2,000 and 2,800 new homes
  • Providing an all-weather playing pitch on part of the existing playing fields south of Gaisby Lane
  • Creating an urban eco settlement on mostly brownfield land, including former industrial land and part of the quarry
  • Building a new primary school
  • High-density housing around Frizinghall Road

The City Fringe

  • Between 100 and 150 new homes
  • Connecting the Canal Road Greenway to Forster Square station and the city centre
  • Developing derelict land on Bolton Road for homes, mainly family housing
  • Keeping the Forster Square and Valley Road Retail Area as a bulky goods shopping area