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Menston village green bid blow despite new flooding evidence
Land controversially earmark-ed for more than 170 homes should not be designated as a village green, according to an independent inspector.
Bradford Council will now make a final decision on whether land at Derry Hill in Menston should be afforded village green status after the application by campaigners opposing plans for the new homes.
But after the week-long public inquiry into the application in August, David Manley QC has written to the council to recommend the bid is denied.
The report is the latest blow to campaigners trying to stop homes being built at Derry Hill. Earlier this year, councillors granted planning permission to Barratt Homes for the properties, subject to several conditions. In his report to the council, Mr Manley says the evidence from people who say they use the fields for leisure was “occasional and sporadic” and not enough to see it registered as common land. He had heard from witnesses who said they used the site during the past 20 years and objectors who say use was limited as the land was being farmed.
“The limited evidence of recreational use, other than the footpath observed by the objector’s witnesses, is consistent with my previous finding that third party recreational use of the land was limited and sporadic,” the report says.
“It most certainly was not on such a scale or of such a character to put the landowner and/or his agents on notice that a recreational use as of right was being asserted.
“I have no hesitation in recommending the application should be rejected.”
His report will now be considered by members of the council’s miscellaneous licences panel, who will decide on the matter on October 18.
Meanwhile, campaigners say they have evidence proving why drainage and flooding issues should stop nearly 300 homes being built in the village.
The campaigners, led by Menston Action Group (MAG) Menston Community Association (MCA) and Menston Parish Council, have published videos and photographs capturing the effects of rain on the village infrastructure – months after both schemes were backed by Bradford Council.