BRADFORD Council has cut its housing targets by almost a third and has halved the amount of greenbelt land that could be released for future development

The changes are contained in the council’s preferred options for the review of its Core Strategy. The authority has launched the next step in its consultation and is inviting people to have their say on the document.

The council says the number of new homes needed for the Bradford district per year has been reduced from 2,476 to 1,703. All areas across the district will see a reduction in the housing targets with the exception of the city centre which sees an increase. More than 70 per cent of the new houses that are built over the next 17 years will be in the Bradford city area, 18 per cent will be within Airedale, 5.6 per cent within the South Pennine towns and villages and 5.4 per cent within Wharfedale.

It says more than 81 per cent of all new housing will be in brownfield and non-greenbelt locations and proposals will see a reduction by half in the amount of greenbelt land that could be released for development - with the majority being in the Bradford city area. The strategy also aims to cut air pollution by investing in walking, cycling and cleaner public transport. Keighley and Ilkley MP John Grogan said: “As someone who has long campaigned on a cross party basis for more emphasis on building on brownfield land and protecting the Greenbelt I welcome this significant change in policy by Bradford Council. A reduction in housing targets by about a third gives a more realistic plan . As sites in Wharfedale and Airedale are allocated for development I will continue to work with local campaign groups to minimise any encroachment on the Greenbelt.”

For more information visit (search for Core Strategy Partial Review). The documents can also be seen at libraries, including Ilkley. A drop in session will be held at the Clarke Foley Centre in Ilkley, from 3.30pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday, August 14.