THE FAILURE of a planning application to build 44 houses alongside the canal in Silsden could be only a short-term success, fears a local politician.

Cllr Rebecca Whitaker said she was pleased a government planning inspector had backed Bradford Council's refusal of plans to develop the Willows site.

The town and district councillor added: "I am concerned that highway safety was not the reason given for its refusal and suspect that it won't be long before we see a new application being submitted to Bradford Council, specifying the required element of affordable housing.

"I sincerely hope that the affordable housing becomes a conditioned part of any approval and more importantly is actually delivered.

"'Affordable Housing' is still often unaffordable for many. It is usually a 20% reduction of the value of the house which still makes it expensive for those trying to get onto the housing ladder. However, it is always better to have it included than not."

The council refused the original planning application for the land alongside the Leeds Liverpool Canal because it felt access along narrow Hainsworth Road not be safe.

Government planning Inspector Alison Partington dismissed applicant Mick Smith's appeal for a different reason: that the proposed housing estate would not include any homes that would be classed as affordable.

Cllr Michael O'Dwyer, chairman of Silsden Town Council, said he was pleased to see the appeal had been refused, but echoed the fears of Cllr Whitake, adding: "It may not be the last we will see of this planning application.

Both councillors have worries about highway safety should a further application for the 44 new homes be received, adding jointly: "We don't want to see any more large scale housing applications. We don't need any more housing in Silsden and we simply don't have the infrastructure."