Townspeople are being encouraged to attend an Ilkley public meeting as they are given a “last chance” to comment on a planning document which could shape future housing development in the valley.
Ilkley Parish Council has announced its meeting over the draft Core Strategy of the Bradford District’s Local Plan will take place on Wednesday, January 29.
The council wants to make sure residents have the chance to make their comments on the strategy before it enters final consultation. The consultation draft Core Strategy sets a house-building target of 800 new homes in Ilkley by 2029. A total of 1,600 new homes are recommended in Addingham, Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston combined.
Councillors and local organisations involved in planning are already concerned the local infrastructure cannot cope with this influx of housing, and that green belt land will be swallowed by housing.
And there are further worries planning developers may challenge Bradford’s housing targets, pressing for greater numbers of homes to allowed in the Ilkley area.
Ilkley parish councillor, Paul Kitching, says the Parish Council wants all people in Ilkley to have their say, and will collate comments from the public meeting to pass on to Bradford Council.
Coun Kitching said: “This Final Consultation really is the last chance that people will have to make their comments known and influence the outcome of the plan before it goes forward for inspection and ultimately arrives on the desk of the Secretary of State who will give it his stamp of approval.”
Ilkley Parish Council hopes to have a representative of Bradford Council at the meeting to ensure that the content of the plan is properly presented to residents during the meeting.
However, ward councillor, Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley), says not all documents needed for the consultation are available to the public.
She said: “As yet, Bradford have not made three strategic documents available, one being the final version of the habitat survey. Without seeing how the officers intend to mitigate or ‘get round’ the survey it appears to be questionable how the public can make valid comments.
“I also question whether English Nature have commented and approved these strategic documents.”
The public meeting will begin at 7pm.