Bradford Dales Village Votes for 500 House Site in Greenbelt

Wharfdale Observer

COUNCILLORS have voted in favour of building 500 homes on green belt land in Burley-in Wharfedale following the outcome of a referendum into a neighbourhood plan for the village.

A decision on the controversial outline plans, which also include the land and infrastructure for a primary school, was deferred in January to await the outcome of Burley Parish Council’s development plan.

At yesterday’s meeting of Bradford Council’s regulatory and appeals committee, it emerged that 82 per cent of people had voted for the neighbourhood plan at the polls just under two weeks ago.

The panel was told this site was instrumental if a target of 700 new homes in Burley-in-Wharfedale, which is included in the core strategy of the Council’s Local Plan, were to be reached.

The CEG scheme also includes nearly £1 million of local highways and transport improvements, as well as reserving part of the site to enable a one or two-form entry primary school to be built as demand for places increases.

Concerns were raised by some members of the committee over whether the very special circumstances that are required to allow development in the green belt had been met in this case – particularly over the issue of the school.

Councillor Jack Richard (Con, Craven) argued that this would see the Council essentially “give away prime green belt land” for a developer to build 500 homes and “land for a school but with no school to go on it”.

He added: “I have significant doubts about whether this is setting the right kind of bar when it comes to giving away the green belt.”

Steve McBurney, from CEG, told the panel: “We will reserve the land for ten years and transfer it to the Council for £1. This may be the only opportunity for a new school in Burley.”

He added: “The school is only one of many strands of the very special circumstances case here.”

“Very special circumstances exist on this site in this particular instance. The very special circumstances are unique to this site and this site only.”

Chairman of the committee, Councillor David Warburton (Lab, Wyke), proposed the recommendation from planning officers that the scheme be approved, and added: “Somewhere in Burley there has to be 700 new homes, and looking at the area I can’t see any other place that could accommodate this amount of houses.”

The matter must now go to the secretary of state for a final decision over the plans.


2 thoughts on “Bradford Dales Village Votes for 500 House Site in Greenbelt

  1. The Observer is accurate in its’ reporting the decision of the District Council Committee.
    Residents, ward/ local councillors and other groups from Wharfedale were interested to see how Bradford planners would inform committee members about, and display the weight given to, the emerging Neighbourhood Plan in their recommendations.
    Councillor Rickard’s subsequent questions to Officers are not reported. Enough to say that he spoke eloquently and powerfully on behalf of the many people working voluntarily, diligently and in good faith to produce Neighbourhood Plans.
    Statements made by Officers during the meeting are being examined by groups who are concerned that Officers may have misled members.

    admin for Addingham Planning Scrutiny Group

  2. I live in Burley-in-Wharfedale and people here are shocked at how this vote has been misinterpreted. I read all of the documents closely and there was no indication that yes meant that the housing development would be approved. I only voted against it because I had the good fortunate to read an Ilkley Gazette article suggesting that the referendum result might be abused in this manner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s