Villagers are being urged to fight on to keep their Green Belt land free of development, despite claims in a planning strategy blueprint that land in three communities will not be lost.
Members of Addingham Civic Society studying the draft Core Strategy of Bradford Council’s Local Plan were surprised to find a statement claiming there would be no release of Green Belt land for housing development in Addingham, Menston and Silsden.
The Core Strategy is currently out for public consultation.
But they have warned residents not to assume the local Green Belt is safe as the ruling could be overturned.
In its latest newsletter, the Society said: “At first you might ‘think that it is all over’ - however it was only a matter of a few seconds before members recalled that developers, landowners and builders will be very unhappy with U-turns like this and will, almost certainly, challenge the plan in this and many other respects.
“Developers will be able to rely on some very “deep pockets” to build tough challenges to any inconsistencies in the Plan.”
Housing targets set out in the publication draft Core Strategy call for 200 new homes in Addingham by 2030, and 400 in Menston – plus 800 in Ilkley and 200 in Burley-in-Wharfedale.
But the Civic Society members found a statement in a summary leaflet accompanying the draft strategy saying there would be Green Belt releases in all settlements except for Addingham, Menston and Silsden.
The Society added: “The Group will continue to support the efforts of similarly aligned groups in Wharfedale and elsewhere to ensure that the final Plan builds the right houses, in the right places, for the right people. It’s becoming clear that there is still some way to go.”
District councillors are seeking clarification from Bradford Officers regarding new National Planning Policy Framework NPPF guidance, including how to determine housing need.
Addingham Civic Society said it would continue to work with similarly-aligned groups in Wharfedale and elsewhere over the Plan.
Consultation on the Core Strategy closes on March 31. Visit bradford.gov.uk for more details or call (01274) 433679.