Councillors in Steeton, Silsden and Eastburn have joined forces to give themselves greater influence over future development strategies.

The councils hope by working together they will have a stronger voice regarding issues such as housing, employment and transport.

The three Aire Valley communities want to ensure residents’ interests are taken into account by both Bradford Council and North Yorkshire County Council.

Members of Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council and Silsden Town Council met last month to discuss issues affecting both communities. Discussion centred on potential effects of proposals to build thousands of homes within the parishes’ boundaries during the next few years.

The two councils agreed to prepare a joint Neighbourhood Plan, a legal document that must be taken into account by larger councils when they draw up development strategies.

Steeton chairman, Councillor David Mullen, said it was clear the three communities shared several concerns.

He added: “There’s housing, employment, transport and infrastructure – everything we’ve said when commenting on every planning application.

“If we create this plan together, we’ll provide a unified front. Bradford Council has to listen to what it says.”

Silsden ward councillor, Adrian Naylor, said the joint Neighbourhood Plan could also highlight issues raised by the villages’ close proximity to North Yorkshire, such as new housing or industry just over the border.