A controversial housing application which proposed the building of new housing on Green Belt land has been withdrawn after District Councillor Rebecca Poulsen and the town’s MP Robbie Moore organised a public meeting to make their objections to the scheme known.
The plans would have seen nine new houses built on designated Green Belt land off Goose Cote Lane in Keighley, with previous proposals to build over 100 homes on the same site.
Worth Valley’s District Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, who worked with residents from the area to push for the proposals to be withdrawn, said she was "delighted" by the news but criticised the planning process as "extremely unprofessional" after it was revealed that reisdents opposing the plans had to travel to Bradford to voice their opposition, only for the proposals to be withdrawn at the last minute
Mr Moore, who organised a residents’ meeting alongside Councillor Poulsen earlier this month argued that the plans would have “paved the way” for even more new development in the area. Mr Moore hailed the news of a withdrawal as “fantastic”, praising residents and local councillors for “coming together as a community” to oppose the controversial proposals.
Speaking after the news, Robbie Moore MP said:
It is fantastic to hear that proposals to build on our Green Belt in Keighley have been withdrawn, and I would like to thank local residents and our brilliant local councillors Rebecca Poulsen and Julie Glentworth for coming together as a community and fighting so hard against these proposals.
Many residents off Goose Cote Lane had quite rightly contacted me about this application and were outraged that it was even being considered, especially considering that Bradford Council, in their relentless pursuit of destroying our Green Belt, have plenty of other brownfield sites in the area they could develop instead.
Furthermore, despite this application being only for 9 houses, the planning documents clearly showed a hammerhead road facing towards the east which would have provided highway access to all the remaining land to the east of the development. It is clear to me that this application was therefore going to be used as an enabling application which, once completed, would have paved the way for even more new development on the same land.
I am pleased these proposals have been withdrawn, as land designated as green belt should be protected from housing development.
Worth Valley District Councillor Rebecca Poulsen Said:
"I am delighted that this application is not going ahead due to the strength of feeling locally. Residents, Councillors and Robbie Moore MP have all worked together to demonstrate that this Green Belt field should not be developed.
The residents are delighted this site is not going to be built on but have been let down twice.
Firstly, this application was recommended by Planning for refusal but due to Cllr Mohsin Hussain (Labour, Keighley Central) referring it to planning panel everyone involved had to attend todays planning meeting in Bradford. This included over 30 local residents and Councillors.
Secondly, the planning application was then withdrawn by the agent at the very last moment as the meeting started. It was extremely unprofessional and disrespectful of the planning agent to make residents travel to Bradford unnecessarily and then withdraw the application at the very last minute.
I hope this now sends a strong message that this is an important Green Belt site that we will continue to protect from any future development.”