From Keighley News, June 6th, 2019
Written by Alistair Shand
A COMMUNITY is fighting plans for housing on a greenfield site. Residents, the village school and MP have all lodged objections against the scheme. It is claimed the proposed development of up to 35 homes, plus an access road, on land at Eastburn will put massive strain on the existing infrastructure. Fears have been voiced about flooding and sewage problems. And there are anxieties that the access route will jeopardise road safety. Keighley MP John Grogan says he has received "many representations" from residents about the proposals, for a site between Croft House and Green Lane.
An outline planning application has been submitted to Bradford Council.
"In 2000 a similar housing application was received for this site but refused following the introduction of the then National Planning Policy Guidance from Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott which discouraged the development of greenfield sites," said Mr Grogan.
"Permission for housing was granted in 2015, but the proposed access through Green Lane did not prove possible to achieve.
"Today there are a variety of additional considerations.
"I share worries expressed by the local parish council about poor sight lines from the planned access route onto the main road.
"Also, I have had many representations from residents about the inadequacy of the local sewage system.
"And crucially, Bradford Council’s own tree officer has sharply criticised the development because of the loss of protected trees."
Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council has raised concerns with planners, mainly around the proposed access.
Chairman, Councillor David Mullen, said: "We have grave concerns about the sight lines.
"The applicant is looking to use the Croft House entrance but when you come out of there, you're blind to traffic approaching from the Cross Hills direction.
"It would be extremely dangerous."
Eastburn Junior & Infant School, which neighbours the site, says the scheme would scupper hopes of an improved access to the school and any future expansion plans.
"Vehicular and pedestrian access to the school is currently severely limited," said headteacher, Mrs Jo Waterhouse.
"The proposed development occupies the only land which could be used to improve that access.
"Furthermore, the school would like to be able to meet the potential increase in demand for places already created by several housing developments in the area. But we believe this proposal will limit any potential for school expansion at the same time as increasing demand still further."
Among residents opposing the scheme is Andy Ritchie, whose Green Close home backs onto the site.
His concerns include a potential flood risk.
"Our property is below the level of those planned and would only be divided by a drystone wall," said Mr Ritchie, 36, a plumber.
"We feel this could potentially cause flooding.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions which I feel need addressing."
A neighbour in Green Close, Dan Pash, also voices worries about the proposals.
He shares flooding concerns and says the planned dwellings would overshadow his dormer bungalow and other properties, leading to a loss of light and privacy.
Agent for the scheme, Jo Steel, of JO Steel Consulting, told the Keighley News that at this stage he didn't wish to comment on the proposals.
But in a letter accompanying the planning application, he said the bulk of the site had previously been approved for a similar quantum of housing. However, the original access plan was no longer an option.
Two trees would need to be felled at the new, proposed access point.
Mr Steel added that the development would use land "already within a well-established housing area" and contribute to sustainability.