Councillors have voted against pursuing the next stages of a planned major road in the green belt between Bradford and Pudsey following concerns about its environmental impact.
The huge infrastructure scheme would link Westgate Hill roundabout with the East of Bradford, removing traffic from busy Tong Street and the Holme Wood estate.
The route has been in the planning stages for as far back as 2012, and last summer West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which will fund £46.3 million of the estimated £64.2 million cost, agreed to provide £1.2 million to fund an outline business case for the road so the project could move forward.
The road would have unlocked the possibility of building more than 2,500 homes – a prospect opposed by campaigners in Pudsey and Tong Village.
But Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee heard Tong and Fulneck Valley Association chairwoman Julia McGoldrick criticise the potential effects on Green Belt, ancient woodland and wildlife.
She labelled the proposals as “outdated” and said 4,000 people from both Bradford and Leeds registered their opposition last year.
Cllr Michael Johnson (Labour), who supported the scheme in general, said he was opposed to a road going through Black Carr Woods.
Another councillors said the plans weren’t just about building another road for the sake of it, but regenerating south Bradford.
The committee voted against the recommendation by five to four.
Conservatives councillors in Horsforth, Pudsey and Calverley & Farsley wrote to the scrutiny board to voice concerns about the impact on the green belt. The letter was signed by councillors including Simon Seary, Mark Harrison and Trish Smith (Pudsey) and Andrew and Amanda Carter (Calverley and Farsley).
The decision was welcomed by Bradford Green party campaigner Matt Edwards, who said:
“We all know that building this new road won’t solve the traffic problem on Tong Street and it certainly won’t help us tackle climate emergency.
“Bradford Labour have been trying to force through this road – along with their plans for 2,500 houses – and they have finally been stopped in their tracks.
“Instead of trying to push this through undemocratically, the executive need to listen to this committee, and the thousands of people who objected. They need to sit down and come up with a real plan to make things better for people living in the area that will reduce traffic, not just move it around.”