Update April 2015
Hearing report from John Finnigan;
Dear Members and Friends
I told you that I would update you on the progress of the Examination of the Bradford Local Plan.
This has now concluded. Representatives of the Tong and Fulneck Valley Association attended a number of sessions and spoke about the issues affecting Tong Valley. The Inspector was fair and tolerant of those of us who were not professionals in the planning arena, making a point of ensuring that no-one felt that they had not been able to make their point. All our previously submitted representations and those submitted by individual members will also be taken into account by the Inspector.
Two significant issues arose, from our point of view.
Firstly Bradford is changing its plans for the location of developments and is going to ask for approval for a major change to the Local Plan to allow significantly more houses in Wharfedale, particularly in the Burley-in-Wharfedale area. It will reduce the number of houses planned for other parts of the District by a corresponding number, but unfortunately it has no plans to reduce the number of houses in the Holme Wood Urban Extension.
There will be a 6 week consultation on these proposals and all members will be able to submit further representaions.
The second piece of very significant information came in evidence lodged by planning consultants to Hallam Land who are described as "strategic land developers" said to have "a controlling interest in circa 100 acres" of land that would be part of the development at Holme Wood.
These consultants revealed that the Council is again reviving the north-south highway skirting the new Holme Wood development, previously called the "East Bradford Link Road", and now redesignated at the "South East Bradford Access Route". It is clear that the planning consultants have been given assurances that there is funding in place, at public expense, to start work on this road in 2021, and that Bradford want to extend the Green Belt further down the Tong Valley so that the new road "will along the majority of its route form a new and very long term defensible Green Belt boundary".
This is just what the TVA feared, and members will, we are sure, want to know a lot more about these Green Belt release proposals and the planned route of the new road.
Needly to say we will continue to keep you in touch with any new information that comes to hand.
Whatever the outcome of the Examination, there is clearly much more work for the Tong and Fulneck Valley Association to undertake in considering the specific proposals for site allocation, the Green Belt review, and the road plans.
Joint Hon Secretary
Tong and Fulneck Valley Association