Campaigners fight to save Ilkley art studios

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Residents, business owners and fellow artists have objected to plans to convert Ilkley art studios to houses.

Art lovers and organisers of the Ilkley Art Trail called on others to oppose the plans to convert the workshops and studios on Back Nelson Road to two homes.

They said the few rented art studios in Ilkley needed to be retained and pointed out the units had been key venues for art trail events, as well as the Ilkley Summer Festival and other open studio events for a number of years.

The official consultation period for the planning application ended on Christmas Eve, but Bradford Council has yet to make its decision.

As well as retaining the art studios, objectors have also raised concerns about parking provision and vehicle access if the units become houses.

Ward councillor Martin Smith (Con, Ilkley) is among those who have objected.

He says turning the studios into houses would affect the character of the Conservation Area and set a precedent for other developments.

He has asked for the application to go before Keighley Area Planning Panel if officers are minded to approve it.

“My objections relate around the unsuitability of the conversion of two workshop units to two homes without conditions to retain two other workshops,” said Coun Smith.

“The proposal is in a conservation area, parking and vehicular access is poor and the outlook for the homes would be very poor, without any outside space for children when these would be low cost homes.”

He said he had additional concerns about inadequate parking provision, vehicle access and traffic congestion.

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