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Development of 44 canalside homes in Silsden given go-ahead

Thursday, 1 June 2023 14:50

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

A 44-home development next to the Leeds and Liverpool canal in Silsden can go ahead after Councillors approved the finer details of the scheme.

Permission to develop a field next to The Willows on Hainsworth Road in the town was granted by Bradford Council in March 2021, despite objections from many Silsden residents.

But the plans were only in outline form – more details would need to be submitted and approved for the development could begin.

On Thursday, the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee met to decide on these more detailed plans, submitted by Skipton Properties.

The housing developer’s plans include a pathway that would lead from the new estate unto the canal towpath, which will be maintained by Skipton Properties.

There had been 16 objections to the latest plan, and Silsden Town Council had raised serious concerns about the impact of the development on traffic.

Councillor Caroline Whittaker (Green, Craven) pointed out that the committee that approved the outline plans two years ago had concerns about highway safety, and suggested the more detailed plans should address this.

She argued the new plans did little to address these concerns, saying: “This is the biggest concern of residents.”

She said the 44 homes could lead to an extra 88 cars regularly using the town’s roads.

Cllr Whittaker added: “The dwellings in these designs have a very suburban approach, rather than reflecting the local vernacular.

“The homes would be very dominant, standing on the side of the canal. I urge you to refuse the plans due to the impact on the heritage asset (canal).”

Sarah Barraclough, managing director of Skipton Properties, said: “I walk a stretch of this canal most days with my dogs, so I can assure you we’ve taken into account the sensitivities of this site and feature.

“These homes will make a positive contribution to Silsden.”

Planning officer Stewart Currie told the Committee that the access to the site had already been approved in 2021, and highways issues were not part of the application being decided at this meeting. They were there to look at the design and landscaping issues.

Some members raised concerns that a protected tree on the canalside could face the chop as part of the development.

Planning officers said that any work to remove that tree would need to be part of a separate application, and its future was not part of the current application.

The majority of members voted to approve the application, with one abstention.

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