PLANS to enhance the south bank of the River Wharfe next to Ilkley Playhouse, and to the north of Castle Road allotments, took a big step forward last week, when Ilkley Town Council agreed to back the next phase of the project.

The initial phases have involved a consultation with local residents and key community groups.

This identified broad support for a project to make more of the site as a community asset for people and wildlife.

Members of Climate Action Ilkley’s Land and Water Group have already completed a study of site constraints, liaising with amongst others, Ilkley Civic Society, Bradford Council, Yorkshire Water and West Yorkshire Archaeology Service.

A detailed botanical survey of the site has also been undertaken by Wharfedale Naturalists Society.

The team behind the project at Climate Action Ilkley has also developed a funding strategy.

A spokesperson for the team said: “With the backing of the town council, the next phase will now involve a topographical survey and the development of a landscape masterplan for the site.

“The masterplan will be developed collaboratively, with local firm PWP Design Ltd, taking account of the ideas contributed by local people.

“A second public consultation will proceed in the autumn. It is hoped that, subject to funding, planting work will commence towards the end of 2021.

“Further work will be planned in discrete stages, with each stage only commenced when full funding has been secured.

“If you would like to make a contribution visit Climate Action Ilkley’s website at”

At the meeting of Ilkley Town Council’s Green Spaces, Environment and Sustainability Committee, on July 13, the Chair, Councillor Ros Brown, thanked Climate Action Ilkley for their submission.

She later said: “The committee is delighted to support this proposal.

“We look forward to seeing a masterplan for the site that takes on board the views of the community and wider stakeholders.

“We hope that the project will enhance this significant area of green space for both people and wildlife.”