'Flooding is a cause of concern in Keighley'

First published in News

Members of a key Bradford Council committee have disagreed with officers over a planning appeal and insisted flooding concerns remain part of the authority’s case when the matter goes before a public inquiry later this year.

Harron Homes wants to build a housing estate on a field off Crack Lane in Wilsden, but the council refused its application for 73 houses last year.

Shortly before Christmas, the company lodged an appeal against that decision, and earlier this month, it was revealed it had submitted a second planning application for 82 houses on the same site.

The authority’s regulatory and appeals committee discussed officers’ concerns last Thursday that one of the main reasons for originally refusing the plans – that the development could cause a risk of surface water flooding – should be dropped from their case. They felt it could prove costly were the council to lose, particularly as both the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water had not objected.

If successful, Harron could claim costs from the authority to prove flooding was not a risk.

But members of the regulatory and appeals committee voted four to one in favour of keeping the flooding issue alive, as well as the other concerns about sustainability and loss of parking.

Councillor Mike Ellis (Con, Bingley Rural) said he still had concerns about flooding if the site were to be developed.

He added: “I am quite happy the decision made by the Shipley Panel was correct, and I intend to move we progress with this on the basis of all three reasons for refusal.”

He said officers should not be bringing up the issue of costs as councillors were already well aware of it. A date has been set for the public inquiry of April 9, with the second planning application for 82 homes on the same site expected to go before a committee in March.

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