Javid told block on Bradford plans could damage local economy

LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARY Sajid Javid is under pressure to lift a Government block on Bradford's plans for where future homes and businesses should be built.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid

Bradford Council has told the minister the current hold on its local plan will damage the area’s economic plans.

Planning Minister Gavin Barwell put the plan on hold in October following complaints by Shipley MP Philip Davies about the use of greenbelt land for housing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “I’m pleased to have the support of the LEP and combined authority, who share our concern that the Government is talking about the need to urgently press ahead with development but has paused our Core Strategy which puts the appropriate policies in place to ensure any development is appropriate and sustainable.

“The continued obstruction of this plan, which has the approval of the Independent Planning Inspectorate, not only puts the green belt under threat from a developers’ free for all, it also has much wider implications.”

Coun Ross-Shaw added: “Mr Javid has said the Government will support councils who are willing to take tough decisions with robust sensible plans, so we hope he will help us remove this unnecessary and arbitrary obstacle.”

The council is supported in its call by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey has already called on Mr Javid to lift the block, describing it as a “mate’s favour” for a fellow Conservative MP.

Speaking at the time, Mr Davies said he had asked the minister to intervene because Bradford had not looked after the interests of his Shipley constituency.

“My constituents are not prepared to accept huge swathes of the Green Belt being concreted over for the convenience of the Labour council which clearly doesn’t care a jot about their interests,” he said.