PEOPLE making the very negative comments about disabled access in Haworth – Storm over village’s access for disabled (Keighley News, September 19) – have no understanding of our heritage villages and all the legal restrictions that apply to conservation areas and listed buildings.

These safeguards are put in place to specifically protect villages such as Haworth from totally unsympathetic and inappropriate development. There are also the practical implications of ramped access for properties that front directly onto Main Street.

All the restrictions are in place for the very good reason of preserving our heritage. If they were not in place the whole village could have been ripped apart by developers and we have all seen in the past what has happened to so many local towns.

Once the heritage buildings and roads are gone that is it, and all we are left with is modern buildings and asphalt roads and the whole character of places is lost for ever. All we have is old photographs to remind us what it used to look like.

People in Haworth do whatever they can to assist with this issue, but the reality is that such opportunities are extremely limited.

I am involved with St Michael and All Angel’s Church in Haworth and we recently revised the inner porch entrance from Church Street by incorporating a single fully-glazed internal porch door, electrically operated by large disabled push buttons.

The Haworth Wholefoods shop was able to install a timber ramp because it has a pavement area outside the shop and access is not directly onto Main Street. Also this shop has a good-sized landing area before you access the shop door.

I am very proud of the way the village of Haworth has been preserved and people should appreciate this heritage and accept that people do what they can, within the legal and practical restrictions, to achieve disabled access to premises in the village.

JOHN COLLINSON Oldfield Lane, Oldfield

* E-mail your letters to