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Anger at housing plans for Haworth fields
Anger has erupted at plans to build more than 300 houses on greenfield land in Haworth.
Behind the scheme is Bradford-based businessman Pervez Abbas, who admitted he was expecting opposition. He wants to build 120 houses initially on land west of Weavers Hill. If that is successful, he will apply for a second phase comprising another 200.
He said he would be arranging a public meeting to give residents a chance to view the proposals.
In 2008, Mr Abbas was behind a plan for a 65-bed hotel and apartments on the same site. That application encountered opposition from residents and the parish council, and Bradford planning officers recommended refusal.
Mr Abbas withdrew the proposals at a planning panel meeting, but pledged to make a fresh bid for approval. He told the Keighley News that his latest application for the 12-and-a-half-acre site would be submitted within weeks.
He added that it would not feature a hotel, an element of the previous application which provoked resistance from Haworth bed-and-breakfast owners worried about impact on their businesses.
Mr Abbas said Haworth had been identified as being in need of 600 new houses.
“The new development will include affordable homes and a community contribution of £500,000 to be spent locally,” he said. “We’ve had a reputable architects firm in Huddersfield draw up the plans, so we’re ready to submit them.”
Although the detailed plans have yet to be published, news of the application has sparked concern.
The chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, Councillor John Huxley, said: “We would find this very difficult to swallow – 320 houses up there would have a material effect on the whole village.
“This is protected village space, and we’d need to take the views of residents into consideration. Anything that has a major impact on the appearance of the village would have an effect on our tourist industry.
“We have to wait and see how this fits in with the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and with Bradford’s planning policy.”
Worth Valley district councillor Glen Miller said the field should be left for sheep and cows to live in.
“My view is as with the previous application, I will oppose it,” he said. “This is due to what local residents feel, and I’ve been elected to represent those views.
“This land is a village green space, and I feel that developing it is totally out of character with what is advised.”