7:00am Thursday 26th July 2012
By Jonathan Redhead
The deputy leader of Bradford Council has hit back at criticisms of the authority after campaigners claimed victory over developers trying to build more than 400 new homes on green fields.
An appeal against refusal for a scheme to build up to 440 homes on fields bordering the Leeds Liverpool canal in Sty Lane, Micklethwaite, was dismissed last week by Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, following a public enquiry.
The land had featured as part of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) included in the council’s Local Development Framework (LDF), which is due for completion next year and sets out housing and development plans across the district for the next 15 years.
Coun Simon Cooke, deputy leader of the Conservative group on the council, said Mr Pickles’ decision called into question all land earmarked as part of the LDF and wants a review undertaken.
But last night, Labour’s Coun Imran Hussain, deputy leader of the Council, said a review of all sites identified in the SHLAA would happen and the Sty Lane site was actually allocated for development by the Conservative-run Council seven years ago.
He said to bow to Coun Cooke’s demands for another review would only replicate work being done.
“It could have saved a lot of time and money if Coun Cooke had raised these concerns when the site was allocated in 2005 under the Conservative run Council of which he was part,” Coun Hussain said.
“Nevertheless, we do want to be certain sites are suitable for development and we are undertaking a review of all sites as part of the SHLAA.
“At this stage of the LDF specific sites have not been allocated for housing and they will be subject to comprehensive consultation at a later stage.”
Campaigners spent several years and about £60,000 fighting developers’ plans for Sty Lane.
Coun Cooke said: “It cannot be safely assumed that this is the only site where the council’s LDF is wrong and no more residents should have to mount such huge and costly campaigns simply to get the council to acknowledge and accept the fact.”
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