Councillor calls for opinions on Wharfedale green field housing

Ilkley Gazette: Councillor Anne Hawkesworth Councillor Anne Hawkesworth

Wharfedale residents concerned about building on the valley’s green spaces must play their part in commenting on the proposed Local Plan for the Bradford District, says an Ilkley ward councillor.

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth said a decision by Bradford Council to go ahead with the public consultation phase on a key planning strategy was “just firing the starting pistol”.

Bradford Council’s leading Labour group last week won a vote to take the draft Core Strategy – the central part of the forthcoming Local Plan – to the next stage.

The strategy, which says a total of 1,600 new homes should be built in Ilkley, Addingham, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston by 2030, will go out to public consultation shortly.

Coun Hawkesworth told this newspaper: “As with all things, the Government inspector will make the decisions according to Government planning guidance. Concerned residents must play their part in the ‘comments’ phase.”

Coun Hawkesworth is among those campaigning against housing on green spaces and green belt land in the valley.

At last week’s Bradford Council meeting she acknowledged the reduction in house-building target proposals, as result of a habitat survey studying land close to Rombalds Moor.

But she asked why the reduction in the figures for Ilkley was by a smaller percentage than the targets for other council wards She said: “This is questionable when the town is far more affected by the regulations due to its close proximity with the moor.

“Indeed, there are three fingers of moorland which come into the built up area.

“Many residents experience sheep grazing their gardens and Mother Duck takes her brood from the moor through the town to the river.”

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