PART of plans to build houses on the site of a former Roman Catholic church have been branded “unacceptable” by a district councillor.

Cllr Caroline Firth fears the embankment of the adjacent Leeds and Liverpool Canal could be weakened if houses are built alongside the Crossflatts site.

SR Design recently submitted a planning application to Bradford Council on behalf of Pinnacle Homes, proposing a mix of townhouses, semi-detached and detached houses on the site of the derelict Church of Christ the King.

Cllr Firth, of Keighley East ward, this week said she accepted the site off Bradford Road needed regenerating and could be suitable for housing. Her main issue was a proposal to build three houses into the canal embankment above.

She said: “This is unacceptable as it may destabilise the infrastructure, and digging into the banking would have a negative impact on wildlife and protected trees which the developer is proposing to chop down along with established protected trees on Bradford Road.

“There is a gas main and a sewer running down the middle of the site, and the proposed houses are too close to neighbouring properties.

“I’m not against something being built on this site, but in my view these plans fall short of the standards we should expect for our community.”

The church closed in 2006 due to a declining congregation.