The Government is over complicating planning consultation and reducing the right of people to object, an Ilkley councillor has claimed.

Former Tory councillor, Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) spoke out following “distress” of local people who hit difficulties in responding to the consultation on Bradford Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy.

Coun Hawkesworth delivered five letters to Bradford Council on Monday – the end of the Core Strategy consultation period.

She claims successive governments, and in particular the current Coalition Government, have changed the planning objection process, resulting in difficult decisions going through.

She said: “Over the weekend I have been contacted by various residents wanting to comment (object) to the strategy but finding the process impossible and distressing.

“For those who were uncomfortable with using the online method I have said that hard copy or letters have to be accepted by the Council.

“This I was assured is the case by Andrew Marshall, the officer responsible for the plan.

“It is unfortunate the residents feel less and less able to take part in shaping the community and their surroundings. More and more do they feel things are being done to them rather than for them by current national politicians.”