FEARS have been voiced that housing earmarked for a village greenfield site could cause traffic chaos and put people’s safety at risk.

More than 60 homes may be built on the land off Sykes Lane in Oakworth, according to Bradford Council’s newly-published Local Plan.

But two Keighley town councillors representing the ward say the village doesn’t need any more properties and that the proposal could exacerbate existing problems on the area’s roads.

Councillor Luke Maunsell said he had “many concerns” about the Sykes Lane proposal and its potential impact on the community.

“The area in question has narrow roads – and problems relating to this have been gradually bubbling to the surface over many years,” he said.

“The new estate could very well make this much worse, possibly putting people’s safety at risk.

“Add to this the damage that would be done to the aesthetic appeal of the village and to the environment – plus the impracticalities of vehicles even accessing this potential new estate – it makes this proposal a non-starter in my view.”

Fellow councillor Mark Curtis warned that if homes went ahead on the Sykes Lane site, the village could end-up in “permanent gridlock”.

He said: “A suggestion for a number of properties off Pasture Avenue could make sense but, having looked in detail at the idea for Sykes Lane, I do not think I could support that.

“I regularly get contacted about problems with traffic in that area and I dread to think what the impact could be if the proposal went ahead. You could end-up with a village in permanent gridlock, with unparalleled problems for local people.

“Also, we need to be looking away from greenfield sites anyway for new homes. Brownfield sites are more sustainable and must be utilised before our beautiful fields are dug-up. If this went ahead, it would affect the water table and make life increasingly difficult for everyone who lives in Oakworth.”

The draft Local Plan outlines the likely location for where tens of thousands of new homes in the Bradford district will be built by 2038.

Sites are allocated that will be used to meet Government-appointed housing targets and help shape planning decisions.

And the hefty document also includes locations for future employment sites.

Bradford district has been without an up-to-date Local Plan for years.

The current target for the district is around 1,700 homes a year. Until 2019, the figure was 2,476 – but a change in Government policy led to Bradford Council redrawing its targets.

Despite the lower figure, the Local Plan still sees a number of green belt sites earmarked for development.

As well as 325 housing sites, the plan also includes 80 hectares of employment plots and the designation of 1,693 open spaces – totalling 2,781 hectares of land.

Among areas where a large number of sites are allocated is Keighley town centre, including vacant plots near the railway station.

Other sites across Keighley earmarked for housing include Winfield Drive – where land that used to accommodate council flats could see up to 39 homes built – and the former primary school site in Braithwaite Avenue/North Dean Road, where up to 173 properties may be constructed.

Public consultation has now been launched into the Local Plan and people are being urged to have their say.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “This is a key milestone in the development of the Local Plan, which sets out the proposals for the growth and sustainability of the district over the next 15 to 20 years.

“The draft plan features new sites for housing and employment and a range of policies which will help guide developments and link them to improvements in infrastructure as well as the determination of planning applications. It also sets out new information on open spaces, green infrastructure and places of ecological value across the district.

“The plan also outlines strategies for local areas and how they may evolve with new housing and employment opportunities whilst protecting key local assets and features.

“The development of the Local Plan is important for all communities right across the district. The consultation is the first step of a key part of the process. We need to know what elements of the plan people like and support as well as any concerns, so I would encourage everyone to make their views known via the consultation.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, the portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: “Sustainable development and climate action are two of our key priorities for the future of the district, so the inclusion of measures to help us live in a greener, cleaner way with lower carbon emissions is vital for us to make the necessary progress to be net zero by 2038.

“We also have to lay the foundations of a green economy to ensure that living and working sustainably can benefit as many people as possible.

“Central to the new draft Local Plan of the Bradford district are issues including tackling air pollution, supporting public transport, cycling and walking and making the district a more prosperous and greener place to live, work and enjoy and delivering the district’s net zero carbon ambition.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consultation materials are only being made available online – visit bradford.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/bradford-district-local-plan/ to take part.

But anyone who experiences problems accessing the consultation, or who has any questions about the Local Plan, can call 01274 433679 during office hours or email planning.policy@bradford.gov.uk.

The consultation closes on March 24.

Bradford Council is also planning a series of online public and stakeholder information sessions covering elements of the Local Plan and the proposed site allocations.