Keighley’s MP is urging people to contribute to a consultation which will help dictate where new developments will be built in the district for years to come.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins said people in Keighley and Ilkley must have their say as part of Bradford Council’s public consultation on the draft core strategy, which is due to close on Monday next week.

Mr Hopkins said: “I’ve received a lot of representations from constituents who are understandably concerned about the intentions of Labour councillors in this process. In particular, there is a fear that green spaces in Keighley and Ilkley are under threat.

“However, the housing population boom in the district is not in Keighley or Ilkley, but in the centre of Bradford and that is where new developments should be concentrated.

“Bradford Council owns lots of land, particularly around the canal area, and there is great potential for much needed housing to be built there. There is also great scope to bring empty houses back into use.”

Mr Hopkins said he had consulted with his Conservative colleague Nick Boles, the planning minister.

“Nick has already visited my constituency to hear local views, he has made it very clear to me that, in the government’s view, brownfield land must be used for development wherever possible.

“The government’s National Planning Policy Framework maintains strong protection for green belt land, and requires local authorities to recognise the character and beauty of the countryside.

“Councils are also expected to encourage the re-use of brownfield land if not of high environmental value.”

Mr Hopkins said it was vitally important for Keighley and Ilkley residents to make their voices heard by taking part in the consultation, on the council’s website.

“There is no need for our green fields to be under threat, and I would encourage the people to make clear that we will not stand for it.”