A COUNCIL decision to block a homeowner from changing the use of an area of public highway into domestic curtailage has been backed by a planning inspector.

Last summer Bradford Council refused plans to change the use of adopted public highway at the corner of Dale View and Woodland Rise in Ilkley to a private garden.

The land includes a public footpath and a grassed over area of land.

If approved, the land would have become part of the garden of 5 Dale View, with a public path around the grassed area being retained.

William Scott lodged an appeal to overturn the Council’s decision, but that appeal has now been dismissed.

When the Council refused the plans the decision said: "would result in the loss of a prominent open area which would materially affect the amenity of the local area and is considered detrimental to highway safety."

Planning inspector Chris Baxter dismissed the application, saying: "Erecting boundary treatment and introducing domestic features on the appeal site would detrimentally erode the open nature of the area, resulting in a cramped environment.

"I therefore find that the proposal would have a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the area.

"I have considered the points raised in the appellant’s statement of case which indicates that the proposal would improve outdoor space for a local growing family and would reduce cost to the Council in terms of maintaining the site.

"These issues, however, do not outweigh the harmful effects on the character and appearance of the area that I have identified."

There had been objections to the original plan that raised concerns about the ownership of the land, although the applicant produced a deed indicating it was in their ownership.

However, the Council said its decision was only based on planning matters.