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Protest goes on despite Menston village green rejection
Campaigners trying to stop 170 homes being built in their village have vowed to fight on despite being dealt another huge blow.
The campaigner who applied to have fields in Derry Hill in Menston given Village Green status to stop the new houses described the decision to reject his bid as “devastating”.
Bradford Council’s miscellaneous licences panel had been asked to make a final decision on a report by independent inspector David Manley QC, who had examined the application.
He recommended the Derry Hill bid for refusal following a week-long public inquiry in August, saying the applicants had proved there was only “sporadic” use of the land by villagers.
Despite last-ditch efforts from Dr Steve Ellams, the man who made the application, the five members of the panel went along with the inspector’s report and turned down the application after private discussions following the temporary exclusion of the press and public from their meeting in City Hall.
Menston Action Group members have vowed to continue their fight, however, with one possible plan of action being recourse to a judicial review.
If this report is backed we would be devastated in the villageDr Steve Ellams
Claire Moore, a member of Menston Action Group, said: “The group is going to continue – we are taking it to judicial review as there are a lot of concerns about flooding.
“Also, we hope Yorkshire Water will come and review the drainage, but so far we have sent three requests with no response.”
Bradford Council’s miscellaneous licences panel had earlier heard from Dr Ellams, who asked them to go against the inspector’s report.
He claimed evidence from dozens of villagers used in the public inquiry had been ignored.
“Anyone who read the report will understand the inspector has believed, hook, line and sinker, the objectors’ evidence,” he said.
“There’s no doubt about that. If the report is backed we would be devastated in the village.
“We’re not just a group of people doing this for the hell of it – we’ve put a lot of time, money and effort into it.”
Afterwards he said he was “devastated” by the panel’s decision.
In order for village green status to be granted, an applicant has to prove a site has been used by residents for at least two decades for recreation, sports and games.