Burley Parish Council’s response to the decision to build 500 homes at Sun Lane

Published: 10 March 2021

Burley Parish Council were saddened to hear the announcement from the Secretary of State on the 3rd March announcing his decision to approve the building of 500 homes to the West of the Village. Planning permission was first raised back in 2016 and after a Public Inquiry in 2019, the Secretary of State initially over turned Bradford Council’s planning approval. However, after an appeal by the developers this has now been over turned.

Since Burley is located along a key road and public transport corridor, the Parish Council has always accepted that the village should make a contribution towards meeting the District’s needs for housing and employment. Indeed, the Parish Council maintain that proposals for housing development on sites within Burley will be supported when they would not result in the loss of an open space identified as being important to the community. A good example of this has been our support for the Greenholme Mills development.

The Parish Council is unhappy with the decision based on a number of factors including:

  • A recent ruling where it was found that Leeds Council had acted unlawfully by not withdrawing all Green Belt sites following the reassessment of housing needs;
  • Bradford Council’s own rejected application to build on land at Apperley Bridge because of inappropriate development in the Green Belt
  • The strategic flood risk assessment commissioned by Bradford Council as part of its Core Strategy partial review which reported that the land is a functional flood plain and should not be used for development
  • Since the original judgement was made, Addingham’s Neighbourhood Plan was adopted and passed by Bradford Council despite the inclusion of a preference for smaller developments. Burley in Wharfedale Parish Council was instructed to remove the same clause from the Neighbourhood Plan
  • The decision undermines the protection afforded to South Pennine Moors and Special Areas of Conservation

Jan Lepley, Chair of the Parish Council, stated “Burley Parish Council wishes to manage growth in a sustainable way, in balancing the overall, scale, distribution and phasing of development so that additional housing doesn’t outpace other key requirements. The type of development that we support needs to have the community infrastructure in place and improve the social cohesion of the village”

Burley Parish Council is currently investigating whether options exist to challenge the decision of the Secretary of State.