Woodhouse pensioners' land fears quashed

The new fence at the entrance to the land

The new fence at the entrance to the land

First published in News
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RESIDENTS’ fears for the future of a strip of land near their homes in Woodhouse have been quashed.

A Keighley property agent has insisted that the new owner has no plans to develop the 2.39 acre wooded area off Woodhouse Road.

Ian Hayfield, of leading local agents Hayfield Robinson, spoke after rumours raged around the terraced bungalows in neighbouring Denby Road.

Tenants of the Incommunities properties, who are mostly elderly or disabled, were alarmed to see workmen erecting a fence at the entrance to the land.

Mr Hayfield this week said: “We sold the land to a gentleman and nothing is going to happen – absolutely nothing.”

Mr Hayfield said the new owner had built the fence only for public liability reasons, so that no one could trespass on the land and injure themselves.

The appearance of the fence led to speculation on possible uses for the land, which includes a stretch of former railway line that once connected Keighley with Cullingworth.

Rumoured uses have included a 24-hour lorry park, a stone yard, a warehouse and a housing estate.

Residents also feared Denby Road, which is currently a cul-de-sac, could be used by lorries to access the site to avoid the sharp turn off Woodhouse Road.

The new metal fence, just above a bridge across the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, blocks access to the land. It is in addition to an existing vehicle barrier.

One of the many trees at the site has been chopped down.

Hartley Wade, of Denby Road, said that between 40 and 50 disabled people lived on the Denby Road estate.

He said: “This estate is a cul-de-sac. These bungalows were presented to us as a last haven of peace and quiet.

“The fence isn’t on the boundary line, they have set it back about eight yards so a wagon can swing round.”Mr Wade reported the felling of the single tree to Bradford Council, but was told that none of the trees on the site had preservation orders. The council later confirmed this to the Keighley News.

Bradford councillors Doreen Lee and Steve Pullen, who represent Keighley East Ward where the site lies, said they knew of no developments planned for the site.

Coun Lee said: “The first thing I knew was when Mr Wade phoned me. I don’t know how anyone could build anything on there.”

Coun Pullen said: “If someone buys the land they can do what they want with it as long as it is within reason. It’ll be interesting to know what someone has planned for it.”

The Denby Road homes, some of which front on to Hainworth Wood Road, are surrounded by large metal fences erected several years ago by landlord Incommunities to deter burglars and conmen.

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