The Planning Inspectorate has given the go ahead to build 102 houses and a 90-bed care home in the North Beck valley. Responding to the recent news, Robbie Moore said;
It is extremely disappointing to hear this news. Our green spaces are incredibly important to us. This was clearly evidenced during the initial outline planning application considered back in May 2018, and again during last October’s public contributions to the appeal process made by many residents, community groups and especially, the Fell Lane Scout Group.
I know that many local campaigners, including BANDAD, district councillors and the Keighley Town Council fought hard to ensure this scheme did not go ahead. I am a firm believer that green space which has community asset value must be protected. Looking back through the history of this application, I note that Bradford Council Planning Officers originally recommended approval for the scheme, but it was only when the application went to committee, that district councillors quite rightly in my mind ignored the advice of their planning officers and threw the scheme out.
It is therefore incredibly frustrating that the Planning Inspectorate has ignored the voice of Keighley and in effect agreed with Bradford Council’s initial recommendation that the scheme should be approved. This case raises much bigger questions – like why was this scheme recommended for approval in the first place? and why is this green space area not specifically designated for so that no housing can take place? The Planning Inspectorate basis their view on current planning policy and therefore a closer look now needs to take place to look at why policy is favourable for this type of development in this location. I am frustrated by the outcome, as this scheme in my view will have clear detrimental impact on the recreational and ecological value of the Tinker and North Beck river corridor. In my view, no mitigation measures will be able to undo the harm which will be caused.
I feel that the people of Keighley have been let down by the Planning Inspectorates decision, as this land should have been protected by planning policy.