I wish to object in the strongest possible terms to the Draft Bradford District Local Plan – Preferred Options (Regulation 18) February 2021 for Thornton & Allerton.
The current services (such as schools and healthcare) are not sufficient to support the number of residents in Thornton & Allerton, yet this plan will see an additional 1,200 dwellings built with no consideration given to improving infrastructure without having to use yet more Green Belt land.
TH2/H, site name: Thornton Road – 150 dwellings, your report states; “Part of the site is protected as village Greenspace in the RUDP. The site is within an expanse of open hillside in the centre of the Thornton Settlement. The Bronte Way public footpath, which is a draw for tourists and has high cultural significance, runs along the north of the site. The site consists of several agricultural fields, separated by dry stone walls.” So you are aware of the objections to this site and yet still appear to be planning to go ahead with using protected spaces.
TH8/HC, site name; Thornton Road West, 250 dwellings, is yet another greenfield site. A housing estate of this scale will have a huge impact on the open space, which is a key characteristic of Thornton Village, and will forever change the identity of a settlement with a cultural significance that sees many tourists from all over the world visiting. It is also worth noting that many people that move to Thornton, do so because of the open spaces and history. Demolishing these will both destroy our local heritage and make the area less appealing, perhaps leaving the houses you have allowed to be built standing empty.
I would also like to highlight, sites; TH1/HC Thornton and Allerton Ward – 11 dwellings, TH11/H South of Hill Top Road and East of Close Head Lane – 30 dwellings, TH10/H Hill Top Road, near Ring O’ Bells – 27 dwellings, TH9/H Hill Top Road, Close Head Drive – 50 dwellings, While stated in your plan as separate sites they are in fact in very close proximity and border each other. Should all these dwellings be built, there would be a housing estate of 118 houses, despite how you have chosen to word the plan.
Allowing for three housing estates (150, 250 and 118 respectively) will not only adversely affect the character of Thornton Village, which is listed in the Replacement Unitary Development Plan (RUDP) for the Bradford District, 12.43 & Policy NE3 (quoted for reference below). It will change the landscape of a rural village, turning it instead into a large housing estate. Alongside the damage that will be done to the village, no consideration has been given to the impact of the current residents. Local GP surgeries are already at capacity, local schools are also at capacity and traffic already an issue during rush hour. With your own Department of Education and Learning stating on application number 21/00321/MAR, which is for only 160 dwellings, that “there are a small number of places across some year groups” and that the “housing development could cause concerns on where children of families coming to reside in the development might attend school”. The same report lists two primary schools outside of the ward and two secondary schools outside the ward. Therefore there are not enough schools to support this amount of housing within the ward. With only two medical practices for both Thornton & Allerton, it is highly unlikely they will be able to support the influx of over 1200 families & residents across the entire ward, yet this is not mentioned in the local plan.
While many of Allerton’s sites are planned on Brownfield sites, the majority of the 700 dwellings planned are flats or apartments. Allerton is predominately a family area and there is no demand for flats within the ward. Many of these families want to move into homes with a garden and space for their children to play. Again the local plan is not sympathetic to the needs of the residents, nor is the real lack of social housing being offered in this area. Much of the social housing within Allerton falls just within the limits of liveable and these residents should be allowed to live in a home that is fit for their needs. Not simply adequate by council standards.
I would also like to bring to your attention that site NW10/H Allerton Road, Prune Park Lane – 160 is being built on green belt land, which will again have a huge impact on the open space which is a key characteristic of Allerton, and will forever change the identity of the settlement.
Taking into consideration my concerns stated above, I would like to reiterate my objection that the plan put forward will have a detrimental effect on the existing residents of Thornton & Allerton ward and that before these plans are approved an infrastructure plan should be implemented to ease the pressure on the GP surgeries and schools. Then the capacity of those services can be used to determine how many houses should be built instead of arbitrary figures based on loose statistics.
These theoretical plans will have a serious impact on the real lives of residents of the Thornton & Allerton ward and need to be reviewed based on the capacity of the local resources.
The Replacement Unitary Development Plan (RUDP) for the Bradford District
12.43 There are also a number of such areas, which are less than 0.4 hectares and hence are not shown on the Proposals Maps. In order to also retain these valuable village open spaces, applications for infill development in the villages will be assessed against Policy OS8.
WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF OPEN SPACE WHICH IS IMPORTANT TO THE CHARACTER, VISUAL AMENITY AND LOCAL IDENTITY OF THE SETTLEMENT.
WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE CHARACTER AREAS, AS INDICATED BELOW AND SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED IF IT DOES NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE PARTICULAR CHARACTER OF THE LANDSCAPE: WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE CHARACTER AREAS IDENTIFIED IN POLICY NE3 DEVELOPMENT LIKELY TO AFFECT THE APPEARANCE OF THE LANDSCAPE WILL BE ASSESSED HAVING REGARD TO THE EXTENT TO WHICH IT WOULD:
· CAUSE UNACCEPTABLE VISUAL INTRUSION;
· INTRODUCE OR REMOVE INCONGRUOUS LANDSCAPE ELEMENTS;
· CAUSE THE DISTURBANCE OR LOSS OF OR HELP TO MAINTAIN:
(1) LANDSCAPE ELEMENTS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO LOCAL DISTINCTIVENESS;
(2) HISTORIC ELEMENTS WHICH CONTRIBUTE SIGNIFICANTLY TO LANDSCAPE CHARACTER AND QUALITY, SUCH AS FIELD, SETTLEMENT OR ROAD PATTERNS, AND LANDFORM;
(3) SEMI-NATURAL VEGETATION WHICH IS CHARACTERISTIC OF THAT LANDSCAPE TYPE;
(4) THE VISUAL CONDITION OF LANDSCAPE ELEMENTS.