The campaign to stop thousands of houses being built between Tong village and Fulneck was backed by more than 70 people at a community walk this weekend.
The walkers met at Tong Garden Centre and walked around the valley, which is green belt land, between the Holme Wood estate and the historic villages of Tong and Fulneck. The area is bounded by the ancient Black Carr Woods.
Campaigners said around 25 per cent of the valley was threatened by Bradford Council’s proposals to free the protected land in their Core Strategy Plans and allow developers to build new houses.
The route took in the areas which will become permanently lost by Bradford’s housing and road plans, and took in the views of the green belt. Walkers from Tong village, Fulneck and Pudsey were also joined by Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew, who showed his support.
Julia McGoldrick, of the Save Tong Valley group, said the aim of the walk was to re-energise opposition to housing, which the group fears would destroy a large swathe of green belt land and cause problems with pollution and traffic. She said:
“We’ve been fighting this for several years but we haven’t got any bulldozers on here yet.”
Ms McGoldrick said in future the group would be looking to raise enough money to hire a professional planning barrister to help them fight the proposals.
Bradford Council argue that there is a shortfall of housing in the district and more houses need to be built.
They say that the plan protects 98 per cent of greenbelt land, prioritises brownfield development, gets empty homes back into use and provides certainty to its partners to provide the infrastructure people will need to support new housing.
The walk drew a mixed reaction on Twitter:
Housing has to be shared out in urban conurbations, we cannot just keep building upwards in the inner-city. We need housing. Get it built.
— Josh Booth (@MarinerWY) September 23, 2017
Brownfield sites should be utilised first. There are lots of brownfield sites in #Bradford that could be used. No incentive though.
— Creative Calverley (@cr8ivecalverley) September 23, 2017
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