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Ilkley action group's vision for town set to be revealed
A team of local experts assembled to help protect Ilkley against over-development is about to unveil the basis of a strategy for the town’s future.
Members of the Ilkley Future Group have drawn up draft policies for housing, employment, business, transport, health, education and other issues, which could affect how the town develops.
Under the chairmanship of Councillor Brian Mann, and working with another Ilkley parish councillor, Paul Kitching, the group was drawn together to produce an overall policy for the area’s future.
It is hoped the strategy will be adopted by both Ilkley Parish Council and supported by district councillors – and contribute to Ilkley’s overall response to the next Bradford Council Local Plan consultations.
But if Ilkley Future Group’s proposed policy is adopted locally, it could also form the basis of a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.
Bradford Council has already approved Ilkley Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Area status application.
The status is hoped to give townspeople more direct involvement in planning decisions.
Ilkley Future Group aims to take its draft policies before Ilkley Parish Council early in 2013.
Councillor Mann said the experts asked to take part had reviewed and prepared proposed policy on housing and employment land, business and employment, transport and parking, health, education, sport and leisure, marketing and tourism, the area’s design statement, heritage and local environment.
He said: “They have been asked to participate on the basis of their specific and accumulated experience in their field and their demonstrable commitment to the future of Ilkley. Most have the backing of groups of people representing interests across the district.”
The potential challenges faced by the town are as yet unknown, although Coun Mann pointed out that the population is expected to rise, putting a strain on local infrastructure. And he warned the arrival of the new Tesco supermarket could have an impact on roads and local retailers.
Bradford Council’s Local Plan will set out the broad aims and objectives for sustainable development of the Bradford District, including Ilkley for the next 15 to 20 years.
The new Core Strategy for the district-wide Local Plan is expected to be put out to consultation across the Bradford District in the spring.
The first draft of the Core Strategy, published in autumn 2011, recommended the building of 1,300 new homes in Ilkley – and more than 3,000 in total in Wharfedale – to meet a 45,000-home housing target for the district.