‘Disillusioned’ Wharfedale councillor to step down over housing

Ilkley Gazette: Councillor Chris Greaves Councillor Chris Greaves

A Wharfedale ward councillor and former passenger transport head has announced he will not stand for re-election next month.

Former Tory Chris Greaves, who is currently an independent councillor, says he has become disillusioned with the present Government’s attitude to planning – and welcomed the decision of Menston campaigner Steve Ellams to stand as an independent candidate in next month’s Bradford Council elections.

Coun Greaves says he is retiring from his Wharfedale seat on Bradford Council when his term of office comes to an end in May.

He was first elected to Bradford Council in 1998, and was a key figure with West Yorkshire passenger transport body, Metro, for a number of years, serving first as district spokesman and later as chairman.

He said: “It is no secret that I have become increasingly disillusioned with the present Government’s attitude to planning, which appears to be a policy of laissez faire, allowing developers to stick up bland, indeed verging on ugly, “playschool” houses wherever they want, with particular emphasis on green fields and flood risk areas. Even more worrying is the mix of tacit and explicit approval of these policies by the Conservative leadership in Bradford.”

Coun Greaves quit the Conservatives in 2011 in a row over a “forged” letter sent from Bradford Council to Metro.

He came under fire the following year after it emerged he had sold his Menston home and was spending part of his time living in Spain.

Coun Greaves is also a former chairman of Bradford Council’s Keighley Area Planning Committee. He chaired meetings on high-profile planning applications, including the new Tesco store plan, and the plans to develop the Wheatley Hotel in Ben Rhydding as houses.

Speaking to the Gazette from Spain, Coun Greaves said the Wheatley Hotel debate was the most memorable.

Coun Greaves says he is still currently dividing his time between Yorkshire, London and the property where he plans to retire in Spain, but had missed only one full Council meeting in the past three years.

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