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Heritage loss fears lead planners to block Wilsden cottages development
5:00pm Monday 25th February 2013 in Keighley
Fears that Wilsden’s heritage is slowly being chipped away has led to plans for a housing development being blocked by Bradford Council.
Club Row is a Grade II listed street of 19th-century terraced cottages in Wilsden Conservation Area. Each cottage originally had a garden opposite it, but in recent years some of these have been turned into parking spaces or built on.
Another application for one of the remaining gardens came before Bradford Council’s Keighley & Shipley Area Planning Panel on February 13.
Jenny Lightowler, of 18 Club Row, applied to build a house on her property’s garden. But councillors felt it was too big a change to the protected area.
Objector David McGowan addressed the panel, saying: “There has been a gradual destruction and disturbance of the conservation area’s gardens – they are an integral part of these houses.
“The heritage is being compromised on a daily basis. The council did say some years ago it would stop people taking up car parks for gardens but it hasn’t followed through.”
Council conservation officers recommended the application be refused, and councillors agreed.
The statement said: “It would harm the setting of Club Row, a Grade II listed terrace of cottages, and reduce its positive contribution towards the interest, quality and character of Wilsden Conservation Area.
“The proposal would bring about the development of open land, which is important to the historical layout and spatial relationship between the terraced properties and their gardens, and compromise important public views of the traditional listed properties.”
Wilsden Parish Council had supported the application, and felt the house was a good enough design to enhance the area.
Parish councillor Tony Caunt said: “Personally, I think it is a shame it was refused. When we looked at the plans, we said it was a nice design – a lovely looking house. The conservation department had a strong case. I feel we need to have in-fill housing like this in Wilsden. It’s a pity.”