Menston Action Group (MAG) is an independent, non-political group formed spontaneously by and for the overwhelming majority of residents of Menston, who believe they should be fully and properly consulted (as set out in The Localism Act 2011) in relation to any proposals which might substantially affect this community.

In the words of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, the rationale of The Localism Act is to help people and their locally elected representatives to achieve their own ambitions”, and “The Localism Act sets out a series of measures with the potential to achieve a substantial and lasting shift in power away from central government and towards local people. They include: new freedoms and flexibilities for local government; new rights and powers for communities and individuals; reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective, and reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally.”

As regards the latter – those decisions about housing – Menston people were not consulted about the plans for 600 dwellings on the High Royds Hospital site, in Menston but approved for development by Leeds City Council (because Leeds Area Health Authority owned the site). There has been no infrastructure improvement to mitigate the traffic or other effects of development and, even though that site is not yet complete, plans have been advanced by Bradford Council for a further 400 homes on sites within Menston village. Residents believe the number of homes planned is excessive, that the developments are inappropriate, that such development would dramatically alter the rural character of Menston, and that the village infrastructure simply could not cope with the traffic and the population increase.

MAG endeavours to reflect the views of Menston’s residents and lobbied successfully for a local referendum on the issue of housing.  98.4% of residents eligible to vote expressed their opposition to the development plans, but Bradford Council decided to take no account of their views.

MAG is not opposed to new housing – indeed we recognise that some new homes would be welcomed – but it should be in proportion, in character and not in such volume as to threaten the very existence of a village community.  Consequently, we are resolute and tireless in our efforts to protect our village and the green fields which surround it from the relentless pressure from profit-seeking developers who have no interest in Menston as a community. We also endeavour to protect our residents from the Council which, in MAG’s opinion, has failed to recognise the spirit of Localism and which seems to view Menston as a ‘soft target’ when commercial developers don’t want to assist in regenerating the economy of Bradford by building on the many brownfield sites closer to the city.

Menston Action Group represents the voice of Menston residents who oppose inappropriate development in their community.

MAG is not against housing ‘on principle’ but will fight tirelessly to protect our Green Fields from exploitation from profiteering developers.

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