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Anger at homes plan for Keighley greenfield site
Occupation Lane resident Robert Whitworth, centre, with councillors George Metcalf, left, and Brian Morris at the site where 140 new houses are planned (8242645)
ANGRY campaigners claim a planned 140-home development on a Keighley greenfield site would create a traffic nightmare.
They say roads close to the site, in Occupation Lane, would be unable to cope with the influx of extra vehicles.
Countless objections have been submitted to Bradford Council, whose major development team is dealing with the application.
Brian Morris, a UKIP district councillor whose Keighley West ward includes the 4.7-hectare site, said he had been approached by a number of people concerned about the Persimmon Homes proposals.
"There are grave concerns about the volume of traffic this development would create and I share the concerns," said Coun Morris.
"I support the residents unquestionably on this.
"The development would lead to upwards of 200 extra cars using nearby Camborne Way and Wheathead Lane, which is ridiculous.
"Those roads struggle to cope already with existing traffic volumes.
"People are also worried about all the heavy lorries which will be coming and going during the construction period."
He said a similar plan for housing in that same area of Keighley several years ago had been rejected due to traffic issues.
"At the end of the day people have a right to a peaceful existence and a good quality of life – and this scheme would greatly diminish that," added Coun Morris.
One Wheathead Lane resident, Frank Howard, questions whether the fabric of the road would survive the additional vehicles.
"Already at peak times windows have to be closed due to traffic noise and exhaust emissions and there is general disturbance such as rattling and vibration caused by heavy vehicles," he said.
"With an anticipated rise of 200-300 vehicles using the road, I dread to think what effect this will have."
Keighley West Labour councillors Adrian Farley and Jan Smithies held a surgery recently – at Exley Head Church – predominantly to discuss the plans, and over 40 people attended.
"I provided residents with a hand-out explaining how they can object to the application and we talked through some of the issues," said Coun Smithies.
"We have offered to meet with residents again if they wish and we will support them as effectively as we can."
She added that Persimmon Homes had held a consultation meeting at the Sue Belcher Centre, Bracken Bank, to outline its plans.
Wayne Gradwell, managing director of Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, told the Keighley News that the proposed 140 homes were "much needed".
He added: "The planned housing mix will incorporate a collection of two, three and four-bedroom properties.
“As a responsible developer we will ensure that access into the development meets the necessary local and national highway standards.
“Following the feedback we received after the recent public consultation event, we submitted a planning application to Bradford Council and are presently awaiting the council’s formal response.”