Public Inquiry into Development at Sun Lane

 

 

 The proposals for 500 new homes and land for a new school were approved by Bradford Council back in May 2018, however after concerns were raised by residents, the Secretary of State decided to 'call-in' the scheme.  This means the decision will be taken out of Bradford Council’s hands and given to the Planning Inspectorate.

 A public inquiry will now be held into the development on land at Sun Lane and Ilkley Road. The public inquiry has been set for 14th May 1000-1600 and is expected to last up to 8 days.

Residents will be aware that an e-petition was launched to encourage Bradford Council debate the issue of hosting the Sun Lane Planning Inquiry in Burley, rather than in Bradford.  Following careful consideration of the views expressed, Bradford Council has now decided to hold the full Inquiry at the Queens Hall in Burley. However, if for any reason the Inspector considers the venue unsuitable, whether this be on arrival or during the course of the Inquiry, it may be relocated and take place at City Hall, Bradford.

Residents can check progress on this inquiry through the Planning Portal at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk using case reference APP/W4705/V/18/3208020

 

David Wildsmith has been appointed to conduct the planning inspection and has stated that all ‘interested persons’ will have the opportunity to speak. During preliminary meetings the inspector has stressed that he will not hear people repeating the same points adequately made by other speakers, and has suggested that people may like to co-ordinate delivery of the key points that need to be conveyed.

Speakers are encouraged to tell Bradford Council in advance of their intention to speak, and where possible to deposit any evidence or papers in support with their arguments with Bradford Council by 23rd April so that all parties can consider them. It’s worth noting that both barristers and the inspector can question anyone who wishes to speak.

Bradford Council have committed will write to everyone who has already communicated with them with regards the planning inspection, and CEG intend to create a website with all the documentation on it accessible via Bradford Council’s website. The key documents are expected to cover the main arguments CEG wish to address which are: planning law, highways, ecology, highways, education, landscape, flooding / drainage and design. Hard copy documents of all papers to be discussed in the proceedings are to be made accessible for reading in the Queens Hall once they are publically available.

 

Parish Council Position

The Parish Council has submitted a 48 page representation to the Inquiry outlining that proposals for housing development will be supported when they would not result in the loss of an open space identified as being important to the community. The Parish Council are not opposed to more new homes in the village, and indeed fully supported the planning application for several new housing developments such as new homes at Greenholme Mills (149 homes), but the proposal for 500 homes at Sun Lane poses some significant  challenges which include:

  • The Parish Council consider that this particular development is inappropriate in the Green Belt and detrimental impact (transport in particular) will be caused

  • Whilst the Parish Council wants to plan for more new homes and jobs, we also want to protect open spaces and preserve the natural and built heritage of the area

  • The Parish Council fully understands that whilst the village will grow, this must be proportionate to its infrastructure, and any associated commitments to improve transport infrastructure.

  • Until BDMC demonstrates it has the funding and  commitment to purchase land and build a school, the site cannot be classed as having ‘exceptional circumstances’, because the exceptional circumstances don’t arise until the commitment to build is there

  • The analysis of alternative sites indicates that a new site offering 500 new homes is not required to deliver to the BDMC target of least 700 new homes.

 

In the meantime, residents who want to receive the monthly Burley Matters newsletter which includes this and other and other important news from Burley Parish Council can subscribe here