Report by Amanda Greaves / /Telegraph & Argos/Wharfedale Observer
CAMPAIGNERS opposing housing developments in Menston will have to wait to learn the outcome of a High Court judicial review heard today, but are celebrating news the developer has dropped a planning appeal over another site in the village.
About ten members of Menston Action Group (MAG) were at the High Court in Leeds for the second part of a double judicial review of Bradford Council’s decisions over a 12-house development on Bingley Road.
The Council last year granted Chartford Homes permission to build the houses, and later agreed to discharge drainage conditions of the planning consent.
One of the key MAG members said he was optimistic about the outcome of the judicial review, but the judge’s decision is not expected until a later date.
MAG has repeatedly contested the suitability of the site for housing, because of the risk of flooding.
“I’m feeling reasonably optimistic, but the judge now has a decision to make,” said Alan Elsegood, of MAG.
At the last hearing in November, the judge, Mr Justice Dove, decided instead of dealing with both issues separately, he would wait until he had heard both challenges to come to a decision.
MAG had legal representation at the hearing, as did Bradford Council and developer Chartford Homes.
Meanwhile, MAG welcomed the announcement this week that another housing developer, Taylor Wimpey, had pulled out of a planning appeal due to take place this summer. The plan at the centre of the appeal was for more than 130 houses on another plot off Bingley Road.
It was refused planning permission by Bradford Council, but the developer appealed to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate against the decision.
A third development, for 173 houses at Derry Hill, has already gained outline planning permission.
However, Mr Elsegood says a more urgent planning battle is looming, as MAG now only has until January 20 to respond to the proposed modifications to the Core Strategy of Bradford Council’s Local Plan – the development blueprint for the district.
Wharfedale housebuilding targets were reduced from early versions of the Core Strategy. But changes made after hearings held by a planning inspector in Saltaire last year resulted in Menston’s allocation rising from 400 to 600 new homes
Will anyone listen??
Bradford councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) says