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Rallying cry to fight rural retreat plans
A senior councillor is calling on groups and organisations along the Wharfe Valley to join forces to try to protect their “rural retreat” in the face of proposals for thousands of new homes.
And Ilkley ward councillor Anne Hawkesworth hopes people in the valley – from both the Bradford and Leeds districts – can find a common purpose to battle against schemes currently in the pipeline.
Both Bradford Council and Leeds City Council are currently discussing plans for their Local Development Frameworks (LDF), setting out visions for house- building and shaping develop-ment in their areas until 2028.
So far, about 3,000 homes are being mooted by Bradford Council for Wharfedale, including Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Menston and Addingham, with their Leeds counterparts proposing several thousand homes in Aireborough including Otley, Yeadon, Rawdon and Guiseley.
Overall, Bradford is aiming to construct 45,000 across its district, while the total in Leeds is 70,000. But Coun Hawkesworth wants council and community groups to come together to make clear their objections to the LDF plans, and has called a meeting later this month.
She says there has been a positive response so far to the plan to meet at Ilkley Town Hall at 6pm on Wednesday (June 27), and is calling for as many people as possible to attend.
She said: “The meeting is already receiving enthusiastic acceptances from groups within the valley.
“We are meeting to find our common purpose of retaining the valley as a highly landscaped rural retreat for all who appreciate its beauty.
“Lots of groups up and down the valley are meeting on a regular basis. We need a group meeting to put forward our plans, complaints and objections into future development in the valley.”
It is anticipated LDFs could be signed off by councils as early as next March.