Our Association has been formed by the people of Holmewood,Tong, Fulneck as well as people from the cities of Leeds and Bradford who all want to work together to protect the greenbelt of the Tong Fulneck Valley from further development.
Bradford have made changes to their website so if you click on one of our links and it doesn't work, you can locate the document from their planning home page here.
Update August 2018
It now appears that, like Leeds Council, more Bradford Councillors are questioning the total estimated housing requirement for the whole of the area. Reducing the total by a quarter to 31,000 would mean there is no need for any encroachment into any Green Belt. This is by no means unreasonable as using the Governments official calculations Bradford should be targeting less than 25,000 over the next 15 years.
Update 22nd May 2018
Green Belt serves five purposes:
to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
South East Bradford is host to one of the largest housing estates in the area, Holmewoood, and along with other adjacent estates which both Pre and Post date Holmewood, housing has now taken up all available non Green Belt land in the South East Bradford area.
As the Green Belt between Bradford and Leeds is desperately slim in this area it is vital that urban sprawl is not allowed to spill over into the Green Belt
to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another
Two major northern cities Leeds and Bradford are particularly close to each other, they have effectively merged in the Leeds Bradford Road area and also at Tyersal and now the new Carr Wood development on Ned Lane is literally just across the road from Holmewood and will also be next to the proposed 300 Bradford homes destined for the green Belt at the head of the Valley.
This has to stop and the Green Belt boundary is the perfect place to call a halt.
to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
The slim finger of land known as the Tong & Fulneck Valley is primarily made up of Ancient Oak Woodland, rolling pastureland defined by mature hedges and tributary streams which feed into Pudsey beck which runs down the centre of the valley and provides the setting for the Character Landscapes of the ancient settlements of Tong and Fulneck. This forms a vital green lung between Bradford and Leeds and according to Bradford’s own 2008 document should not be developed for housing but the countryside should be enhanced for the long term benefit of local residents and visitors to enjoy healthy outdoor leisure activities in a quiet country environment rich in flora and fauna.
to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
Tong, Pudsey and Fulneck are Ancient Settlements and therefore have centuries of history. Thoughout this period the settlements have benefitted from the setting of open countryside right up to the head of the Tong & Fulneck Valley.
In latter years this setting has been protected by Green Belt designation across the Valley irrespective of whether the land is in the Leeds or Bradford boundaries.
It is vital that Green Belt protection remains to preserve the setting and character of settlements on both sides of the Valley After all these centuries of open countryside it must be remembered building in the Tong Valley is irreversible – when it’s gone, it’s gone.
to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land
Unfortunately Bradford has a major issue with the poor quality of the city centre and deprived and dilapidated areas surrounding it.
The whole city centre needs to be reimagined to enhance the dilapidated areas and breathe life back into the centre.
This is where quality new housing in sustainable locations utilizing brown field land is most needed to support re-growth of the city.
Green Belt Protection of land on the outskirts of the city is intended to focus attention on tackling inner city issues such as these
Why do Bradford want to build on Green Belt?
They say they don’t – but to achieve their target number they have to
The Government says that building on Green Belt can only be allowed under ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ and the need to hit a housing target does not constitute ‘Exceptional Circumstances’. The Inspector has called for Bradford to define what they believe are their Exceptional Circumstances which support their assertion that Green Belt land should be released. Bradford’s target is 42,087 of which 11,000 are destined for the Green Belt.
There are strong reasons for arguing that figure is way too high.
The target includes a theoretical ‘unmet need’ quantity of 7687 calculated from as early as 2004 and it is highly questionable given what has happened since then (eg the financial crash) that this quantity should be included at all.
Simply using Government guidelines would reduce the 15 year housing requirement by 17,142 to 24,945 so no need for any Green Belt encroachment at all. Despite Bradford claiming they wish to minimize building on Green Belt they have declined to either remove the dubious ‘unmet need’ or recalculate using Government guidelines.
But surely Bradford needs more affordable housing...
Yes – but it’s not destined for the Tong Valley Green Belt.
Bradford Council Strategy is to encourage their development partners to build large houses. This maximises profit for developers and Council Tax Revenue for the Council. Here is a quote from the Management Consultants on behalf of the developers…
“The Council officers advised that the new affordable housing contributions in the new urban extension could be reduced given the extent of existing affordable housing in Holme Wood and the wider SE Bradford sector”
The Green Belt Review
There has effectively been no new building on Green Belt in the area for many years due to the Protection offered to Green Belt Designated land
Despite that, Bradford Council published plans some years ago which anticipate building a huge 11,000 houses in the Green Belt. Unbelievably Bradford Council had not undertaken a Review of the Green Belt before penciling in their plans
Their plan was put on hold due to big question marks hanging over it. The Government Inspector had a choice of throwing out the plan or allowing it to be continued. The latter course was taken albeit with some significant reservations and requirements. Unsurprisingly a key stipulation was to undertake a Green Belt Review. Bradford’s plan is incomplete, no Allocations document exists, yet they say their plan has been ‘approved’!
However this is to be undertaken by the very same Council Officers whose job it is to deliver the Plan.
It is obvious that this review cannot possibly be fair and unbiased
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- Campaign For Rural England CPRE >