I WRITE, as a very concerned resident of Silsden, with respect to the current Saxon Dene housing development.

I have never seen such a hideous site in all my life.

Some of the houses are so close together that if there were windows in the side elevations, the owners of adjacent properties could easily shake hands with each other through these windows.

There are no front gardens as such, only vast acres of asphalt.

There are no areas for children to play on and only, as yet, a token gesture of trees.

In fact, the best thing that could be done is to instigate the planting of a 'forest' of fast-growing trees along the Keighley Road elevation of this development so we will not be able to see it from the main road.

I have long since thought Barratt to be a conscientious builder, always building good-looking estates. The builders have managed to change my mind in a stroke.

Barratt is building a new estate as you head into Harrogate on the A59, on the left. This estate is totally different, full of green spaces and tree planting. Why can’t the people of Silsden have a similar estate?

I blame Bradford Council Planning for allowing such an eyesore of an estate to be built, especially having published their latest edict regarding new building projects – just a few days since ­– advocating the inclusion of green spaces and trees.

At the very least, can we have many trees planted throughout the estate to break-up the monotony of asphalt and lack of green gardens.

Currently going through the planning stage is another development, on the former Riverside Works site. Looking at the plans, again there are no green spaces shown and there appear to be no front gardens on the vast majority of plots – just more acres of asphalt.

Please will the planners at Bradford look at this development closely and practice what they preach, before it is too late.


Hawkcliffe View


* A spokesman for Barratt Developments Yorkshire West says: "We have been in conversation with Mr Davis since August last year, making every effort to address his concerns and answer any queries regarding the Saxon Dene development in Silsden.

"In our correspondence, we have responded to Mr Davis’ concerns relating to the spacing between houses, outlining information from the National Planning Policy Framework. This policy outlines minimum density targets for housing developments in order to make efficient use of land and mitigate the need to develop more-sensitive locations.

"In relation to the comments regarding green space at Saxon Dene, we have an approved landscaping project for the southern boundary of the development which will include a generous amount of recreational space, including onsite public open space.

"We are committed to investing in the areas in which we build, and consider green space an important aspect of every application. In 2019, we planted more than 12,767 trees and shrubs across our developments in the Yorkshire West region. We also created six hectares of green space, equivalent to 307 tennis courts, to help support wildlife on and around our sites.

"We’re happy to discuss this further with Mr Davis and further explain how Saxon Dene will look once it’s complete. As we’re still in the construction phase, the current appearance of the site is not an accurate representation of our plans for the future of the site, which is to be expected at this early stage."

* A Bradford Council spokesman commented: "When this development is finished it will feature leafy hedgerows, a grassed play space and a significant number of new trees around the perimeters and along the driveways. It will also include a large, landscaped parkland area to the south.

"The plans for the development were publicised and the views of the public and specialist consultants were fully taken into consideration when the scheme was approved.

"The space allowed between houses meets both Bradford Council’s planning standards and the Government’s planning policies.

"Our new planning guidance for housing will be adopted in early 2020.

"Homes and Neighbourhoods: A Guide to Designing in Bradford brings together the very latest thinking in housing and urban design and has been developed with the help of a wide range of community and housing partners.

"The new guidance will be used to influence and assess the design quality of planning applications, including the current application for housing on the former Riverside Works site."

* E-mail your letters to alistair.shand@keighleynews.co.uk