Residents give their view on what the district needs

Wharfedale Observer: Ilkley parish councillor Paul Kitching Ilkley parish councillor Paul Kitching

Many Ilkley people responding to a planning strategy consultation told Bradford Council their family has had difficulty getting a place at a local school.

Almost three-quarters of Core Strategy consultation responses submitted via Ilkley town hall, and studied by a local councillor, referred directly to family experiences of failing or struggling to obtain a place at Ilkley schools.

And of the 100-plus consultation responses seen by Ilkley parish councillor Paul Kitching, almost two-thirds felt accommodating car parking if more houses are built would be impossible.

The Core Strategy is the central policy document of the forthcoming Local Plan, a planning policy blueprint which will influence house-building and other development in the Bradford district until 2030.

Coun Kitching had encouraged more residents to have their say in the consultation, which ended on March 31, after finding just 60 responses had been submitted via Ilkley Town Hall partway through the consultation period.

Bradford Council has yet to confirm how many responses in total were made by Ilkley people, either via Ilkley Town Hall or online.

But it said a “significant proportion” of the 500-plus responses received in total were from Wharfedale.

Among the Core Strategy proposals is a target to build 800 new houses in Ilkley.

Councillor Kitching thanked those who responded.

He said: “The responses received at Ilkley Town Hall by the Parish Council show that Ilkley residents have raised almost 1,000 points to be considered by the independent inspectors in Bradford.”

Other issues raised by many Ilkley people, he found, included concern about daily traffic jams on the A65 and the ability of the road to cope with more traffic.

Crowding and overloading of commuter services was raised in more than 40 per cent of the responses Coun Kitching studied.

Almost a third highlighted the real need for housing in the centres of Bradford and Keighley and urged that priority be given to development of brownfield sites ahead of greenfield development.

And just under a quarter highlighted general deficiencies in infrastructure with specific reference to drainage and flooding.

Bradford Council is now analysing the results of the consultation, before it submits the Core Strategy for Government approval.

A Bradford Council spokesman confirmed there had been 523 respondents to the consultation, and said a significant number related to Wharfedale, but the Council had yet to analyse the breakdown by area.

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