A LEEDS councillor has complained bitterly about how Bradford’s plan for 42,000 new homes will affect his side of the border.Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of the Conservative opposition at Leeds Council, has spoken of his anger and disappointment after a planning inspector ratified the Core Strategy of Bradford Council’s Local Plan, which will shape development for the next 15 years.“Leeds City Council were consulted by Bradford, but did nothing.” This claim was disputed by Labour councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for planning, whose Pudsey ward also sits on the Bradford border.Cllr Lewis said he too had concerns about how the plan would affect the area between the two cities and said he had raised these issues with Bradford Council.It said Leeds had “raised some concerns about the impact of new housing development close to its borders”, but was “content for these issues to be considered again in more detail when specific sites have been identified”.Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford’s executive member for planning, said: “The national government asked all areas of the country to draw up a local plan for building new homes.
He said: “There are things that concern me and I have talked to Bradford politicians over the years about my concerns and in particular the sensitivities of the Leeds-Bradford border.” He said dialogue was the way forward, adding: “We could, as local authorities, go to war with each other over each other’s core strategies and all that would mean is we have a situation of tit-for-tat.” And he said his real quarrel was with the Government for putting in place a “deeply unhelpful” system that allocated too much land for housing and was “very much developer-driven”.
The report by planning inspector Stephen Pratt said Bradford had “fully consulted” Leeds City Council about its Local Plan, including major plans to extend Holme Wood.
Cllr Carter, who represents Calverley and Farsley on the Bradford border, said: “It appears there could be as many as 1,000 of these houses built on the border between Leeds and Bradford.
This will have a massive impact on communities in Leeds, as well as on the road infrastructure, schools and health.
"There are clear guidelines set by Government through the National Planning Framework about what they expect from local authorities in a local plan and we have had to work within those parameters.
The Government’s planning inspector has backed the Bradford Plan.