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Menston housing estate plans row ‘could end up in court’
Campaigners against a housing estate in Menston say they are “incensed” with the way Bradford Council has treated the application.
One member of the Menston Action Group believes the fight could even eventually end up in a court.
On Thursday, Taylor Wimpey’s plans for 135 homes off Bingley Road once again came before the council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee.
The plans were approved in April subject to certain conditions being met, but Taylor Wimpey asked the council to vary one of the conditions that required the company to deal with any potential flooding issues on the site.
Despite being an application for a re-wording of a technical issue, the meeting involved fiery exchanges that at one point saw an objector thrown out.
Flood risks of the site was one of the main bones of contention, and the Menston Action Group believed that Taylor Wimpey had not done enough ensure the site would not flood once homes were built on it.
Both protesters and members of the committee were angry to hear that the proposed final wording of the condition was only made public shortly before 9am on the day of the meeting – which started at 10am.
Coun Dale Smith, who lives in Menston and has objected to the scheme, spoke at the meeting.
He said: “I am very angry that the council is being asked to consider something that was only made public at five to nine. So much for consultation or any opportunity to give a response.”
Chris Schofield, speaking on behalf of the Menston Action Group, said: “This process has been defective and shambolic. It has certainly undermined residents’ confidence.”
When one objector in the public gallery shouted a response to one comment, committee chairman Coun David Warburton told him he did not have a voice as he had not registered to speak.
When he carried on, he was ordered to leave, and shouted “disgusting” on leaving the council chamber.
The committee voted to approve the alteration in the condition after being told it would be better for the residents of Menston.
They did, however, ask for the final flooding report produced by the applicants to be made public and come back before the committee. Normally it would be approved by officers behind closed doors.
After the meeting Dr Steve Ellams, of the Menston Action Group, said: “We are getting really quite incensed with Bradford Council’s responses to everything we have submitted. We have a flooding report that cost us £25,000 to draw up, and we have never been able to present that.
“I think the only way we will eventually get a say in this is in a court.”
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