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Fears that greenbelt land will be lost to housing
Residents preparing to fight for Wharfedale’s green fields are being urged to study a street-by-street breakdown of land highlighted as possible sites for thousands of new houses.
Strategic housing allocation study details were shown during the recent consultation on the Core Strategy Development Plan Document – the proposed central part of Bradford Council’s Local Development Framework.
The eventual framework will set out official Bradford district policy for building and development until 2028.
But Ilkley parish councillor Paul Kitching fears many of those planning to challenge housing and employment land allocations – which could include the loss of green belt land – are not aware of detailed breakdowns produced by the council showing possible housing land, estimated numbers of new homes and even expected timescales for development.
Councillor Kitching studied many of the Bradford Council-produced studies and documents released around the time of the core strategy consultation. But he was recently directed to more in-depth Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) sites analysis reports by a Bradford Council officer.
Coun Kitching believes this information will enable a community action group to work with Bradford Council to minimise the impact of future development in Ilkley.
Some of the sites studied on the SHLAA were classed as not viable in 2011. Some are thought to have been suggested by landowners or potential developers, and others identified by council officers.
Among the “developable” Ilkley plots is land on Ashlands Field, Leeds Road – thought suitable for more than 70 houses – and green belt land off Skipton Road, with an estimated housing yield of 205 homes.
Green belt land off Hardings Lane could yield 116 houses in the next seven-to-12 years, and fields off Coutances Way could be the site for 673 houses, according to the SHLAA, although the availability of this land is classed as uncertain.
Tesco’s current and future store sites were also studied. A Bradford Council spokesman said: “The SHLAA sites analysis was published in October as part of the evidence base of the draft Core Strategy, and several printed versions of the document were available for inspection at consultation events, including those in Ilkley.
“This document forms part of the assessment of the overall availability of land for development across the whole Bradford district. No decisions have yet been taken on whether the sites will be allocated. That process will begin at a later stage of the Local Development Framework and will involve further extensive consultation with residents and stakeholders.”
Consultation on a draft land allocation plan for the entire Bradford District is not expected to take place until next year.