12:51pm Thursday 26th November 2015
By Herald reporter
Fears have been expressed about huge infrastructure costs that could result from an increase in the number of new houses planned for Silsden.
Changes to Bradford Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy, which sets out how the district’s land will be used during coming years, are now subject to public consultation.
The number of new houses allocated to Silsden as part of this plan is 1,200, up by 200 from the initial draft of the Local Plan.
People can now have their say on the changes, and the document will guide where houses, businesses and leisure and retail developments are built for the next ten to 20 years.
But concerns are growing as to how Silsden can cope with this extra development.
Craven ward councillor, Adrian Naylor, said: “This will have a massive impact on the town.
“If these new houses are built, Silsden will grow by a bigger percentage than any other place in the district outside the centre of Bradford.
“I’d encourage everyone to comment on the revised plans put forward. But people are being asked to comment on the increased number of houses without knowing where those houses will go.
“Also, what is missing from all of this is detailed analysis of where new infrastructure is needed, who will pay for it and when it will arrive.
“The infrastructure implementation plan for Silsden shows there’s a minimum shortfall of some 20 odd million pounds, and this figure is likely to rise dramatically.
“Northern Power Grid has said that if more than an additional 100 houses are built in Silsden, it will need to increase the size of its electricity substation, which will cost another £5 million.
“Yorkshire Water says the Aire Valley trunk sewer is at capacity and would need to be upgraded to take additional housing.
“Some of these infrastructure projects will only be delivered ten to 15 years from now, while new housing could be developed a lot sooner than that.”
Andrew Marshall, Bradford Council’s planning and transport strategy manager, said: “The core strategy doesn’t allocate the land, but it sets out how much and where and other policies.”
The Core Strategy of the Local Plan was submitted to the Government almost a year ago, and hearings followed in March resulting in the current changes.
Consultation on the changes runs for the next eight weeks, and is required before the Core Strategy can be formally adopted.
Documents highlighting the proposed changes, together with the reasons for the alterations, are available at main council offices and main libraries. They are also available online at the bradford.gov.uk/ldf web page.
Comments will be submitted to the independent Government inspector, Stephen Pratt, for his consideration.