FLOODING fears have prompted a demand for no more house-building on land below the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Silsden.

Local councillor Adrian Naylor says work must be carried out to stop Silsden Beck bursting its banks before new housing in the nearby Belton Road/Hainsworth Road area is approved.

He wanted to avoid a repeat of 2015 Boxing Day when he said flooding from the beck left Belton Road waist-deep in water for more than a day.

The only other vehicle access is from Howden Road along narrow Brunthwaite Bridge Lane and across a swing bridge.

When a digger caught fire last year on the canal bank, firefighters had to leave their engine and carry pumps hundreds of yards.

The Hainsworth Road houses are another half mile further on.

Cllr Naylor, who sits on Bradford and Silsden councils, made his call this week in the light of the latest proposal for housing on a belt of land between the canal and Hainsworth Road.

LARK Architects Ltd have submitted an outline planning application to Bradford Council for up to 44 houses at The Willows, a field next to the recently-built Canal Side development.

Robert Kaminski, of LARK Architects Ltd, has pledged that potential access problems from narrow Hainsworth Road lane will be resolved before a full application for the houses is submitted to Bradford Council. He has enlisted leading independent road engineers Sanderson Associates to overcome issues such as increased vehicle usage and reduced visibility on a bend.

Bradford Council has designated the Hainsworth Road area for housing, and other planning applications on adjoining land have already been approved.

Cllr Naylor said that since the 2015 floods, Barrett had built more than 200 houses along Belton Road itself, and smaller developments had been built or were along Hainsworth Road.

He said: “That’s 300 additional houses. I have a serious fear we’re creating a pocket of houses with only one entry and exit.

“If the area gets cut off by a flood, the only exit route would be to take all the traffic down a country lane and across the canal.

“We know the fire brigade can’t get a tender across the bridge. They had to carry their gear. That’s fine for a digger, but not for a house fire.

“If somebody needed medical attention quickly, the ambulance driver would have to know how to get to the swing bridge. There would be other vehicles using Brunthwaite Bridge Road, and you can only use it one way at a time.”