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From Keighley News, October 31st, 2019
Written by David Knights

A SECOND attempt to build houses on fields between Bracken Bank and Oakworth will go before councillors next week. Residents and politicians have renewed their fight against development on the greenbelt site off Goose Cote Lane. In April 2018 Bradford Council turned down GCL Developments’ first planning application, for 130 houses, due to the land’s greenbelt status. The company submitted a second outline application in January this year, for 100 houses, and this will be discussed by the council’s Regulatory and Appeals Scrutiny Committee on Thursday November 7.

Keighley MP John Grogan this week said: “It really is time developers took no for an answer on this important site.

“The case against building houses on the site has got even stronger as Bradford Council have substantially reduced the housing target for Keighley from 4,500 to 2,800.”

District councillor Adrian Farley accepted there had been amendments to the scheme originally proposed, but said he still had “significant” concerns.
He added: “We have a duty to protect the green belt – it shouldn’t be developed on. The Oakworth area has been the subject of significant development over the last five or 10 years.”

Fellow Keighley West councillor Julie Linton has organised a public meeting at the Sue Belcher Centre, Bracken Bank Avenue, on Tuesday November 5 from 7-8.30pm.

She said: “I want to know residents’ issues so I can represent their feelings at the meeting. The issues are still about access, and it’s in an area prone to flooding.”

Tamara Newman, of Goose Cote Lane, said she and fellow residents were particularly concerned about a potential threat to wildlife.

She said: “The community is even more outraged than last year. It’s about saving our green space. It’s the essence of England.” 

Speaking for GCL Developments, planning consultant Sam Dewer said the latest plans addressed all the concerns raised the first time by public and politicians.
He said: “Now it is a normal planning application for up to 100 houses. It’s in the greenbelt but it’s an infill site. It’s a fully policy-compliant scheme. We’re not trying to duck our contributions or to bypass anything.” 
Mr Dewar said the plan, if approved November 7, was “immediately deliverable”.