Minister sees Guiseley planning problems for himself

Visiting the former High Royds Hospital site are, from the left, Malcolm White, Councillor Graham Latty, Minister Nick Boles and MP Stuart Andrew

Visiting the former High Royds Hospital site are, from the left, Malcolm White, Councillor Graham Latty, Minister Nick Boles and MP Stuart Andrew

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Planning minister Nick Boles saw first hand the problems facing Guiseley and the A65 corridor in a visit to the area.

He stressed the need to look at the existing pressure on infrastructure when considering future plans – and he pledged that changes in legislation meant there would be less chance of decisions on developments being overturned on appeal.

The minister met campaigners who have been fighting overdevelopment and he saw for himself the extent of the problem in Aireborough.

He said: “It has been good to see first-hand the development of new housing that has taken place in recent years. However, it is very important that future plans take into account existing pressure on the local infrastructure.

“I also enjoyed meeting local groups such as WARD and the members of High Royds Sports Campaign Group.”

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew who invited Mr Boles to the area said: “I have been campaigning against excessive development in my constituency for many years and have raised my concerns in the House of Commons on numerous occasions.

“It has been a worthwhile visit for the Minister who has been able to see how the area has been over-developed and the pressure this is having on the infrastructure. Local residents, campaign groups and councillors were able to voice their frustrations direct to Mr Boles. I will continue to raise our concerns in Parliament.”

Mr Andrew said one of the issues raised was the way in which council decisions on planning were repeatedly overturned on appeal.

“That has been going on for years and it isn’t fair,” he said. “He has said to us that with the new planning legislation that is coming in and the development of local planning there should be much less of that happening in future.

“What he said was ‘invite me back in a year and if you have lots more appeals I will have something to answer to’,” he said.

Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Graham Latty, who accompanied the Minister, said: “We were able to show him a lot of the development that is taking place right along the A65 corridor and in Guiseley and Aireborough generally. It brought home to him the fact that we really have been hard hit by development and the plans for more housing are going to severely tax our resources. I think he was quite sympathetic to the fact that we had taken a very big hit.”

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