PASSIONATE speeches were given at a public meeting called to oppose plans for a care home and housing at Keighley’s ‘Tinker’ beauty spot.

Campaigners set out reasons why planning permission should be refused for a 90-bed care home and 102 houses on the former site of Holme Mills, and surrounding fields and woodland.

An estimated 50-plus people attended last week’s meeting after learning of a renewed attempt to get approval for the project, which was last year turned down by Bradford Council.

Developers have appealed to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, which has invited comments from the public before October 7.

Local resident Rebecca Mansfield said strong feelings were expressed at the “positive” meeting, with many points of objection, especially about a perceived threat to the well-used Fell Lane scout hut.

Developers propose to build on the site of the current hut, but in their planning application have proposed replacing it with a new scout building elsewhere on the site.

Rebecca, assistant Beaver Scout leader at Fell Lane, said: “As indicated by our petition the offer of a facility is not of like-for-like standard.

“The offer of a relocated hut would not be guaranteed. We worry the existing plan scout hut will be scrapped later down the line in favour of more houses.”

Rebecca said residents at the meeting were also concerned about an increase in traffic on an already-busy main road, with single lane access up Fell Lane due to parked cars.

She said: “Locals feel this extra influx of traffic in an already dangerous hotspot is a risk to the public.

“Also stressed were the loss of wildlife, mature trees with preservation orders, and fragmentation of a wildlife corridor. An area which has been enjoyed for generations will be altered and spoiled.”

Also speaking at the meeting were Keighley West ward councillor Julie Lintern and David Wilkinson, founder of the Friends of the North Beck.

Mr Wilkinson praised Rebecca’s “inspiring and passionate” talk about the importance of the scout hut to the local community.

He himself spoke about the value of the ‘Tinker’ area, a stretch of the North Beck popular with Keighley people for generations and lying alongside the proposed housing site.

Mr Wilkinson added: “Many questions were asked at the meeting. The general take-home message was that everyone should send their comments to the Inspectorate, saying what was important to them about the area and why it should be protected.”

Anyone wishing to object should visit and search for appeal # 3217011.