Council planners urge backing for homes bid despite opposition

Councillors will be advised to back controversial plans to build 142 homes on the site of a former quarry in Bradford today.

Harron Homes Ltd wants to build the new houses on land at Hazelhurst Quarry, Queensbury, but its plans face a barrage of opposition.

The firm wants to finalise the reclamation/remediation of the former quarry area and to prepare the site in order to build the development.

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Bradford Council has received 94 letters from people objecting to the bid plus a petition containing 166 signatures.

The proposed scheme has also come under fire from three ward councillors.

Critics have claimed the infrastructure in Queensbury "is at breaking point" and that the land has been used for recreational purposes as a village green for over 30 years.

It has been claimed that the highway system surrounding the site is "totally inadequate" and people have raised concerns about parking.

Queensbury councillor Michael Walls said: "Our main concerns are that in Queensbury all the primary schools are full.

"There are no vacancies now so (for) anyone moving in from the outside, their children will not be able to go to school in the village. Similarly it would be an added pressure to doctors and dentists – they could not accommodate all the people there.

"This particular site at Hazelhurst Quarry, the access is through two roads which are absolutely congested every morning and evening. The traffic is horrendous now and this will make it worse and put more pressure on the schools and all the other local facilities.

"We are still a self-contained village because we are still surrounded by fields – just. There is still a village community and people feel strongly about building and the extra strain it puts on village facilities. There is just no room for more people."

Nearby residents are also worried about the loss of privacy and views.

There are also fears that problems for emergency services on the existing narrow roads will be made worse.

The new homes would be a mixture of four and five bedroom detached houses and some town houses containing between two and four bedrooms.

Despite the opposition, Bradford Council's Area Planning Panel (Bradford) will be advised to give the scheme the go-ahead when it meets today.

A report to be considered by the panel says: "The scheme provides a residential scheme on an allocated Phase Two Housing Site.

"The density, scale, form, layout and design of the proposal are acceptable and present no concerns with regard to residential amenity and highway safety."

The report says the open space provision within the development in the form of a "village green" and grassed areas around the footpath link between Hazelhurst Grove and Long Lane "is in the form of informal rather than formal open space and is of a size whereby it will not be adopted by the council."

Planning permission would be subject to a number of conditions and a contribution by the developer towards affordable housing, recreation, education and off-site highway works.

According to the report, the nearest primary schools are Shibden Head, Russell Hall and Foxhill which it admits are all full at the moment.

There is also an increase in population within the area.

However, if Harron Homes secures planning permission it will have to pay 231,562 towards improving existing educational infrastructure . The nearest secondary school is Queensbury which currently has spare capacity.

The company will also have to pay an additional 141,875 in lieu of on-site recreation provision.

It would also have to sell a quarter of the development at 35 per cent discount on open market value.