Bid to put 30 homes on site of old Ilkley Middle School

Ilkley Gazette: The site of former Ilkley Middle School in Valley Drive The site of former Ilkley Middle School in Valley Drive

More than 30 affordable homes could be built on the site of an Ilkley school under new plans by Bradford Council.

The council has submitted an application to its planning department for 33 new houses on the former Ilkley Middle School site at Valley Drive.

The proposed development of two, three and four-bedroom homes includes nine houses which would be social rented properties.

Other homes would be sold – with possible shared equity or rent-to-buy arrangements for some of the properties.

The development is part of a Bradford Council housing service bid to provide 80 new affordable homes in the Bradford district before 2015.

A strip of the neighbouring recreation field could be lost as part of the development, although there are no plans to build on the rest of the field, which is designated as recreation land in the current Bradford Unitary Develpment Plan.

Public consultation on the plans has already started.

The 88-hectare plot is next to the 56-apartment Emmandjay Court housing-with-care de-velopment, recently built by charity MHA.

A planning and access statement drawn up by the council’s architectural services department said: “Demograph-ical studies have identified that the Bradford district is experiencing increased demand for affordable houses. In response, the housing service will be delivering 80 affordable homes before 2015.

“This site is the first to be developed and will have a mixed tenure of homes for rent and for sale.”

Two ward councillors have expressed reservations about the scheme. Councillor Martin Smith (Con, Ilkley) said yesterday he would be objecting to the plans as they stand, although he is supportive of the affordable housing scheme in principle.

Coun Smith said he objected to losing a five- metre strip of playing fields land.

Planners have suggested moving the football pitches on the field.

He also feels the access to the site should be from Wyville Road, at the northern side of the site, instead of the busy Valley Drive.

And Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Con, Ilkley) said standing space around the proposed homes, as well as the pitches, should be taken into account.

“The built plan needs changing not the land available around it. The site of the former school is already over-dense,” she said.

A 94-house plan for the Middle School site was rejected by planners in 2005. There were have since been calls from within the community to leave land undeveloped as a possible site for the expansion of Ilkley Grammar School.

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