9:00am Friday 9th March 2012
By Jonathan Redhead
Campaigners defeated in their battle to stop 300 new homes being built in their village are “not throwing in the towel” as they ponder their next move.
Hundreds of people packed into a community centre in Menston last week, with dozens more outside as Bradford Council’s Shipley area planning panel granted permission for Barratt Homes to build 173 houses in Derry Hill and gave outline consent for Taylor Wimpey to construct up to 135 new homes in Bingley Road.
The decisions were a devastating blow to the campaigners who had spent two years fighting the plans and even gained permission for a village referendum which saw more than 98 per cent of 1,790 voters say they were against the homes plans.
Last night, members of two groups fighting against the developers said an appeal could still be a possibility but no concrete decisions have yet been made.
In a statement, the Menston Action Group (MAG) said they had received encouragement from residents throughout the village to continue the battle against the developers.
“One week has now passed since the planning meeting approved the plans to build more than 300 houses in Menston,” they said.
“We believed the efforts of the joint forces of Menston Parish Council, Menston Community Association (MCA) and MAG had uncovered enough serious issues to put these farms beyond development.
“On the day, the economic and political issues were seen to outweigh the social, environmental and community concerns and we took a serious blow.
“During the last week we have all been reflecting on what happened and how and what this means.
“We have been pledged support and funding from villagers who are angry at the way our community has been treated.
“New ideas have been suggested for fundraising and people are offering to lend their help and expertise.
“There has been a meeting of the Joint Working Party of MPC, MCA and MAG plus concerned villagers and we are considering all our options of how we can make our voices heard. We are still open for business and we are not throwing in the towel.”
Alan Elsegood, from the MCA, said all groups who fought the homes schemes will “review their strategy” after a few days of “licking our wounds”.
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