A West Leeds councillor has criticised plans from Bradford City Council that could see green belt land between Bradford and Pudsey turned into housing.
Councillor Andrew Carter, Leader of the Leeds Conservative Group and Calverley & Farsley ward member, is concerned about planned development in the Tong and Holme Wood areas of Bradford that could see acres of green belt land lost and replaced with housing developments.
Under the plan an extension to Holme Wood would see 296 houses built off Ned Lane.
And land north of Tong Street would be allocated for up to 1,158 homes and ten hectares of employment land.
Cllr Carter is concerned about the loss of cherished local landscapes as well as the potential for the boundary between Bradford and West Leeds to be blurred. The proposals have attracted over 1,000 objections, with Bradford Council’s consultation closing today.
The Save Tong and Fulneck Valley group have opposed the scheme from the start, and when land in the area was included in the first stages of the Local Plan the group handed over 4,000 objections to Bradford Council.
After a renewed campaign more than 1,000 people have objected to the proposals, and campaigners have raised £7,000 to fight to prevent the sites from being included by hiring a solicitor who helped with the recent action that led Leeds Council to drop dozens of green belt sites from its local plan.
Councillor Andrew Carter said:
“We have been fighting against Greenbelt development in Leeds for over ten years and whilst some sites have been lost a recent high court decision has meant that 37 sites will be removed from the Leeds plan as housing allocations and retained with full protection in the Greenbelt.
“Set against this background we now have these plans in Bradford again seeking to deliver thousands of new houses on greenbelt land and set against thousands of objections from local people. It is like history repeating itself with Bradford now following the same route Leeds took and was forced to back track on.
“Local people will not tolerate local greenspaces and greenbelt land being developed, that message is now coming loud and clear from residents in West Leeds and in Bradford – these proposals need to be halted as a matter of urgency and our greenbelt must be protected.”
The development of the Bradford plan comes at a time when 37 sites will be removed as housing allocations in Leeds following an intervention in the High Court.
The draft plan says: “There are clear opportunities to raise the bar in housing and employment design and quality in this strategically well located area of south Bradford and strengthen the Tong Street as a gateway into the urban area.”
According to the Telegraph and Argus’ local democracy reporter Chris Young, it also reveals that Holme Wood will be prioritised when allocating stops for a planned West Yorkshire Mass Transit system.
Bradford Council say the extra housing is needed to meet local demand.