Row breaks out after developers of Esholt Hall housing scheme in Bradford are asked to fund road improvements in Leeds

Bradford highways officers have said it is “unreasonable” for Leeds City Council to suggest that the developers behind a scheme in Esholt help fund improvements to a junction over three miles away.

Esholt Hall on the Yorkshire Water-owned estate near Bradford

The Esholt Positive Living Development is a huge scheme that would see 150 homes, 100,000 square metres of employment development and a community hub created on areas of the Esholt water treatment plant site.

Bradford Council is expected to make a decision on the plans later this year.

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When first announced, Yorkshire Water said the development would be one of the “country’s leading sustainable industrial and residential developments.”

Along with Keyland Developments the company submitted an application to completely transform sections of Yorkshire Water’s 32-acre site that are no longer used.

Due to the size of the development, Leeds City Council has been consulted on the proposals.

Their response claimed the huge development will generate far more traffic travelling to Leeds than to Bradford, and that because of this the developer would need to provide funding to improve the road network in Leeds.

Leeds claims this traffic will cause congestion issues at the Horsforth roundabout (A65/A6110 junction) - around 3.7 miles away from the Esholt site. The council is looking at a potential £7.5m scheme to improve that junction, and a letter to Bradford Council responding to the Esholt scheme, Leeds City Council has said: “it is considered reasonable to request a contribution to the future planned but as yet unfunded improvements to the junction.”

However, last month Bradford highways officers responded, saying: “I consider that the request by Leeds for a financial contribution to the A65/A6120 junction improvement at Horsforth is an unreasonable planning obligation due to its distance from this development.”

However, the department agrees with Leeds that the developer should provide “upgraded signalling and adaptive control to better manage the throughput of traffic at the A658/B6152 (the junction of Apperley Lane and Micklefield Lane).”

The highways department has also revealed that the developers have agreed to provide almost £1.8 million to improve “sustainable transport” measures such as improving the bus network and the provision of electric bikes and scooters.