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Anger at housing bid at beauty spot
1:00pm Monday 16th July 2012 in News
A developer has been condemned by villagers after unveiling controversial plans for an eco-home next to a picturesque reservoir.
Residents of Leeming, a hamlet near Oxenhope, are fiercely objecting to plans put forward to build a modern glass-fronted house, just yards from their Yorkshire Stone cottages in Denholme Road.
They claim the home is “totally unacceptable” after Oxenhope resident Steve Taylor submitted a planning application to Bradford Council to build next to Leeming Reservoir, in an area designated as a conservation area and green belt land in Bradford Council’s planning policies.
Richard Cameron-Williams, of Denholme Road, said: “It is very very modern and totally out of keeping with the area. It is at the side of the reservoir where there are key views and green spaces that give Leeming its green, rural character.”
In a letter to Bradford Council, another resident, Richard Williams, described the new house as “inappropriate development” in the traditional Pennine village. “The effect on the vista from the opposite side of the reservoir would be catastrophic,” he said. “Is Bradford Council trying to destroy the local landscape as it seeks to approve an increasing number of developments in our village?”
The residents have also criticised the area’s Worth Valley councillors after a letter was submitted to planners calling for the application to be discussed by members of its Keighley Area Planning Panel, should the officers decide to refuse the application. The letter – written by Worth Valley Conservative councillor Russell Brown, who sits on the planning panel – describes the rural setting as “derelict” and “brown field” and said the innovative design of the new house would have “minimal” impact on its surroundings.
However, Denholme Road resident Ken Aitken, who is also objecting to the proposals, said: “They are trying to make out it is brown-field land, but it is not a dumping ground – it is a haven for protected wildlife.”
Councillor Rebecca Poulsen (Worth Valley, Conservative) said she had been contacted by Mr Taylor, who has also visited Leeming residents with details of the plans.
Coun Poulsen said: “I have had a number of e-mails from residents of Leeming. They seem to think that the councillors are supporting this application, when we are neither supporting this application nor the objectors.”
Neither Mr Taylor nor his agent, Bingley-based consultant John Steel, were available for comment.