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Labour to save Green Belt according to their election literature

Zero focus on local policies just predictable politics.

This week I have received an astonishing leaflet from the Labour Party. Chris Steele and Philip Shaw are announcing their plans for the Wharfedale Ward if elected.

Sun Lane – what can we do now?

Perhaps the question we need to ask Mr Shaw and Mr Steele is “What did you do to oppose development at Sun Lane?” As I recall, neither of the two raised any objections to the Sun Lane development, but now wish to apportion blame to the Conservatives. Might I suggest that both candidates research and for once give an unabridged version of events.

What everyone has forgot is what has been swept under the carpet. Labour controlled Bradford Council actively supported development at Sun Lane at two Regulatory and Appeals hearings, then issued a statement of common ground with ceg: to support the development. Bradford finally followed ceg:’s lead and took to the high court in a move to overrule the Secretary of State’s decision. Perhaps that’s my personal take on the situation although I was served with the legal challenge papers alongside the Secretary of State and Burley Parish Council. Then again, what do I know, having invested 3 years of time and research opposing development at Sun Lane before at and post inquiry. Chris Steele and Phil Shaw, where were you in my hour of need?

Perhaps both have ‘conveniently’ forgot their rich green belt history, dating back to 2012 pre conservative rule in the RUDP of 2005? Have we forgot about Cllr Val Slater,

A greener Bradford.

That old chesnut vehicle charging points, carbon zero housing absolutely no mention of social housing which is what Bradford urgently needs and these candidates are supposed to represent the working classes.

Notwithstanding the above, I recall that Bradford Council actively supported expansion plans at LBA. Bradford Council didn’t have a duty to consult on this issue, but it would have been good if they had consulted with those who are most affected in Wharfedale – the constituency in which they are standing for election!

Next question vehicle charging points versus aircraft CO2 emissions, need I say more?

Any council in the UK has to meet ambitious climate targets that have been set by government (Conservatives), Bradford is no different.

Most importantly, your Labour Council has the vision and values for our future.

Straight from the pages of Bradford’s policy makers comes:

The 2005 RUDP.

Looking back to 2005’s RUDP and perhaps earlier, I see that many of the policies contained in the Local Plan are those which were introduced between 13 and 16 years ago, perhaps earlier. The following are clearly stated:

  • Brownfield viability issues affecting the delivery of significant housing, where they are most needed, has been an ongoing issue for at least 16 years. The issue and vision are recorded in the 2005 RUDP, points 6.18, 7.25 and 7.26.
  • 2007 saw the introduction of the Local Development Framework (LDF), the ‘2020 Vision,’ as it became known. Contained in its pages at point 2.7 we have, “The District will have a diversified high wage, high skill, knowledge-based economy with particular strengths in cutting edge hi-tech manufacturing and communications, financial and business services, cultural and creative industries, and environmental industries.”

I would like to express my personal concern about the credibility of some policies which re-appear in the Local Plan.

My concern is well founded in that there is insufficient evidence available to support continuing with such policies, and underlying issues remain. There is no measurable evidence of progress, that is no improvement in brownfield viability, or delivery of a highly skilled workforce or knowledge-based economy. Quite the opposite is true.

The district has seen the departure of many financial service companies: the National & Provincial Building Society and Bradford & Bingley have ceased to exist and what remains is much scaled back; and senior roles at the Yorkshire Building Society have been moved into Leeds. UKAR is the last but one financial service company based in Bradford district, however, a recent private equity (London based) takeover at UKAR could jeopardise that position quite quickly.

Is it the Council’s expectation that things will change given more time? If so, why, and how will that be measured?

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

What I am trying to understand is why Council still have the same ‘vision’ for the district. There are identical policy statements in the Local Plan as to earlier strategy documents, which do not appear to have delivered any tangible, positive results.

Council appears to assume that something could change given enough time, however, nothing changes if nothing changes. If the Council’s approach remains the same, then I must question whether any careful consideration has been given to the Local Plan’s content.

If Council persist with this approach (continuing to make the same vision/strategy statements, without quantifying any real progress), then realistically, are Council up to the task at hand and are the public expected to tolerate another 17 years (33 years in total) of inaction?


Guy’s, could I suggest that you do some research? Happy to have a husting with you if you’re up to the task at hand.

Bob Felstead.