From Keighley News, October 14th, 2019
Written by David Knights
BRAITHWAITE families must not lose their beloved valley to housing, says Keighley MP John Grogan. He claims the Tinker valley, next to a proposed housing development, offers a much-needed escape for residents of the former council estate. He has called on a Government housing inspector to throw out plans for the development so that it does not ruin the tranquillity of the green haven. Mr Grogan made his impassioned comments this month as part of consultation over the developers’ appeal to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, after Bradford Council refused permission to build 102 houses houses and a 90-bed care home on the former site of Holme Mills, alongside the North Beck.
The proposed site lies next to Tinker, an area of open land popular with generations of people in Braithwaite and Fell Lane, communities on either side of the site.
Mr Grogan claimed the loss of the “well-cared for” amenity would be considerable.
He said: “Braithwaite in particular is not a rich estate and many children growing up in the area do not have a lot of recreational possibilities open to them, or even in some cases regular food on the table.
“Tinker has given them an escape into some of the better things life has to offer, whether it be splashing around near the waterfall or observing the wonder of the wildlife.
“The proposed development will be adjacent to tinker and change the character of use and the aspect across the valley, which has been described as the ‘green lungs of Keighley’.
“Noise from the proposed housing estate will disturb the peace and quality of an area of landscape that Bradford Council have given special recognition to.”
Mr Grogan highlighted the “compelling” opposition of people who use the Fell Lane scout hut, which faces being moved to make way for the development.
Rebecca Mansfield, leader of the Save Our Scout Hut campaign, this week said campaigners faced weeks of waiting for a decision by the Inspectorate.
She said: “The Inspectorate may visit the site, but I do not know if this is going to be the case. We are literally just waiting to hear anything back.”
In his letter to the Inspectorate, Mr Grogan also highlighted concerns from the Bradford Council tree officer.
He added: “I have rarely read a more critical assessment of such an application from an officer with responsibility for protecting our woodland for future generations.”
Mr Grogan said it would be premature for the appeal to be granted, when Bradford Council planned to reduce its Keighley housing target from 4,500 to 2,800 new homes.
“This would undermine confidence in the consultation process,” he added.