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Bid for homes on site of former Ilkley Middle School is approved
A scheme to build 33 homes on a former school site in Ilkley narrowly gained the go-ahead from Bradford Council with only the chairman’s casting vote splitting the deadlock.
The authority’s own plans to build two, three and four-bedroom homes at the former Ilkley Middle School site, Valley Drive, was approved by the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee last Thursday - despite opposition from residents, and three members of the committee itself.
Conservative councillors were against the scheme, concerned about education provision at Ilkley’s already-oversubscribed schools.
But three councillors from the Council’s leading Labour group were in favour of the plan, and it fell to committee chairman Councillor David Warburton, to have the casting vote, which saw the plans passed.
Members of the authority’s regulatory and appeals committee heard that the plans had attracted opposition from dozens of residents as well as local councillors, who were concerned about traffic congestion and the strain on local schools, as well as the loss of a former education site and that the development would encroach on neighbouring public football pitches.
The proposed development is part of a £6million plan by the Council to create affordable homes on two sites in Ilkley, with nine of the 33 homes being made available at an affordable rent.
Ward councillor, Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley), a former member of the committee, attended the meeting last Thursday (February 21) and spoke against the plans.
Now she is calling on the Council to ring-fence green space elsewhere in Ilkley for possible future education provision.
She is asking for Ashlands Field, Leeds Road, currently designated as housing land, to be saved as a possible site for an Ilkley Grammar School sixth-form centre.
“Ashlands Field is the final piece of land owned by the Council, allocated for residential which could be used for education, said Coun Hawkesworth.
“It’s large enough for a sixth-form annex.”
She had previously spoken out in favour of retaining the middle school land as a site for a sixth-form centre, to alleviate pressure on Ilkley Grammar.
Discussions also took place at last Thursday’s meeting about more joined-up working between Bradford Council’s housing, education and highways departments.
Several conditions were attached to the planning consent, including a restriction on noise and working hours while construction is taking place.