RESIDENTS of Burley-in-Wharfedale have been shocked to learn that a developer is proposing a large housing scheme in the Green Belt on the Church Field, off Weston View in the village.

The site lies at the historic core of Burley’s Conservation Area.

Jomast Construction from Teeside, working together with Steve Hesmondhalgh & Associates, are suggesting a development made up of a mixture of two, three and four bedroom ‘affordable’ homes, including larger two and three bedroom bungalows, semi-detached and detached properties.

The proposal follows hard on the heels of the 500-house scheme in the Green Belt on Sun Lane at the opposite end of the village, the refusal of planning permission for which is currently being appealed by the developer.

Although no formal planning application has yet been submitted, the proposal came to light when a leaflet briefly describing the proposal was circulated to a limited number of residents in the village, asking for comments on the housing scheme.

The elevated site proposed for development is directly between St Mary’s Church and the A65 at Weston View, and is an intrinsic part of the conservation area by contributing to the setting of a group of listed buildings.

In Bradford Council’s Burley-in-Wharfedale Conservation Area Appraisal it is described as a key open space, containing a number of key views in and out of the conservation area, as well as a number of important mature trees.

The Church Field site proposed for development is a Greenfield site in the Green Belt, is outside the village boundary, and is an integral part of the Burley-in-Wharfedale conservation area, making a vital contribution to its uniqueness of character and architectural interest.

In addition, it is surrounded by Grade II listed buildings, including St Mary’s Church and Burley Hall, and is in close proximity to the Grade I listed Burley House.

Harvey Bosomworth, a local resident who objects to the development said: “Any development here would be detrimental to the setting of listed buildings, most of which are listed as a group.

“This proposal directly affects the historic centre of Burley in Wharfedale and it is hard to imagine a more sensitive location.

“Although the land has been put forward by the owner as a possible development site, its unique position and its contribution to the historic form of the village makes it totally unsuitable.”

Local MP Philip Davies has already indicated his opposition to this proposal, and Wharfedale Ward councillors, Jackie Whiteley, Gerry Barker and Dale Smith, have all indicated their opposition to Green Belt development in this location in the past.