Drainage fears prompted councillors to defer an application to build four new houses in Utley, Keighley.

Members of Keighley & Shipley Area Planning Panel said they wanted to see a full drainage report for the proposals, which relate to a sloping field at the end of Manor Road.

Panel chairman Coun Doreen Lee said: “We’ve seen this issue before. It’s OK saying ‘We’re only building four houses now’. In two years they could come back and say ‘We want another ten houses at the top of the field’. I do have concerns that we don’t have a proper drainage plan.”

Planning officers had recommended the proposals for four four-bedroom detached houses be approved.

In his presentation to the panel last Wednesday, planning officer Martyn Burke said: “This is a small housing development restricted to the lower part of the slope.

“It would relate well to the existing houses at the end of Manor Road and in our view would not significantly affect the urban green space.

“Our highways officer’s view is that the road has the capacity to accommodate four new houses. Each house would have an integrated garage and parking space in front of it.”

The plans had provoked 15 objections, warning of a loss of urban green space and exacerbated flooding risks.

They say the development would result in noise, pollution and other disruption. They also warn that Manor Road is in poor condition, not suitable for construction vehicles. Coun Lee said: “A lot of water comes down that field and we know that a lot of water comes down the road at the top of the field – Spring Gardens Lane.”

Coun Malcolm Sykes added: “Some of the conditions of approval would need a lot of monitoring and inspecting. It is sometimes difficult to enforce these and if we were to say ‘Yes’ to this we would need a very strong condition related to the drainage.”

Councillors Lee and Keith Dredge successfully recommended a deferral to allow further drainage details to be submitted.