PLANS to build a holiday park on land between Silsden and Steeton have been turned down by Bradford Council.

A senior planning officer this month rejected the application to place caravans and cabins on a site off Keighley Road.

Reasons included flood risk, potential danger to nesting birds, unsympathetic design and landscaping, and unacceptable intrusion into the Green Belt.

The refusal came despite developers’ claims that the proposed park would promote tourism and boost Silsden’s economy while respecting the landscape.

The plan called for a small-scale caravan and cabin park on land that previously housed agricultural buildings, on the Silsden side of the River Aire and the Keighley side of Keighley Road.

Skipton-based Rural Solutions had submitted the planning application on behalf of landowner Jonathan Smith, director of UK Sports Equipment Lett, who already uses much of the site to grow willow for his custom-made cricket bats.

Mr Smith sought an extra use to retain viability of his fledgling business during the 15-year growing process of the willow trees.

Rural Solutions said: “The proposal is considered not to have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt that existing development. There are no other sites in this location to provide a tourist facility for cabins and caravans.”

Rural Solutions said more than 200 trees and 40m of hedgerows had already been planted, and another 55 trees and 140m of species-rich hedgerows were planned.

The willows would screen the camp, and help reduce flood risk.

In its refusal, the council said the proposal would result in an unacceptable intrusion of buildings into the area, affecting the openness of the Green Belt.

The officer said: “The economic, tourist industry and ecologically benefits are not considered to counterbalance the harm the development would cause to the Green Belt.”

The officer said application did not provide a comprehensive site plan and landscaping scheme, accurate information on location of trees, nor data to demonstrate lack of flood risk.

The officer added that the site was likely to support ground nesting birds and other wildlife.

Silsden Town Council objected to the plan, saying the caravan park would be an unsuitable development on a flood plain.