Help Save Our Green Belt

Do you want to see 188 houses on this land? Amazing countryside in Ben Rhydding and the surrounding area is under threat from housing development. With your help we can help save this beautiful green belt land.

What Is Happening?

The land (marked A on the map below) is owned by Giggleswick School and is sandwiched between Ben Rhydding Drive to the north and Wheatley Grove to the south. Part of it extends up to the golf course so it forms a continuous green space right up to Ilkley Moor and is a valuable recreational area much used by walkers as well as for livestock grazing. It is an important visual amenity of the view from Ilkley’s iconic Cow and Calf rocks.

There are several other sites in Ben Rhydding also proposed for housing development, in particular a massive site alongside the A65 (marked B on the map below) extending from the traffic lights at Wheatley Lane all the way to the sewage works. As many as 673 houses could be built here if Bradford Council so decide.

Both large sites are in the established Green Belt which is supposed to be protected from development, but Bradford may redraw the boundaries thus removing this protection.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

As well as the Giggleswick and Coutances Way land, Bradford's draft plan will impact on the entire Wharfedale community, from Menston out to Addingham. The plan provides for some 1,600 houses to be built in Wharfedale. At this stage at least all the Bradford Plan provides for is extra housing and it appears that no thought has been given to the extra necessary infrastructure to support such an increase in population. For example, part of the Coutances Way site was to have been used for a much needed replacement Grammar School. Where can that now be built?

A number of other sites around Ilkley are also threatened with development. Click here to see Bradford’s map.

The aim of this website is to raise public awareness of Bradford's plans and to provide a facility for you to register your views. Only if there is substantial community opposition to the plans will they be reconsidered. So If you are concerned by the impact which excessive and unsustainable building development could have on you, your family and on the wider community, please take time to read these pages and register your concerns.

Time is short. The local plan is likely to go before Bradford Council for approval before the end of the year. There will then be a brief public consultation period before the plan is submitted to the Government planning inspectorate. The outcome will rely heavily on the views of local people. Be prepared to make your views known. Please Register on this site to be kept informed.

Ilkley Will Struggle To Keep Up

Do you want to see 673 houses on the main approach to our town? Ilkley and Ben Rhydding do not have the infrastructure to deal with a large influx of new residents. Transport, Healthcare and Educational facilities are already at straining point.

Why Is This Happening?

Bradford Council have determined that the district needs around 42,000 extra dwellings over the next fifteen years to cater for anticipated population growth and employment opportunities. It is unclear how this requirement has been divided up across the District. It appears quite arbitrary that the Ilkley ward, which includes Ben Rhydding, gets 800 new dwellings. This is despite the fact that the population growth which has occurred thus far has not been in Wharfedale but in urban Bradford.

We believe that the evidence on which this determination is based is flawed, and that the actual requirement should be lower. We also consider that Bradford has failed to recognise a number of important features including:

  • With minor exceptions, the only available land in the Ilkley ward is Green Belt land
  • Our schools are at or near capacity
  • Healthcare facilities are under pressure
  • Our roads and car parks are already inadequate
  • Peak time public transport cannot cope
  • Local employment opportunities are limited so commuting to Leeds and Bradford will increase
  • Impact on the character of Ilkley and its surroundings for visitors and tourists as well as local residents

Altogether, not a sustainable situation.

What Can We Do About It?

If you are concerned that ...

  • Some of our valuable Green belt will be lost for ever
  • Eventually Ilkley and Ben Rhydding will merge with Addingham and Burley in Wharfedale
  • The already congested A65 road will often be gridlocked
  • Getting a seat on a peak hour train will become a luxury
  • Our kids will have to be bussed elsewhere for their education
  • Parking will be a nightmare
  • Accessing healthcare will become increasingly stressful

... Then please register your email address below and we will contact you to keep you informed.

You will only receive relevant information to this email and you can unsubscribe from our updates at any time. Please be prepared to make your views known when the plan is published and open for consultation.

In the meantime write to our MP, Kris Hopkins, and to our Ilkley ward representatives on Bradford Council. Here are their contact details.

Kris Hopkins MP -

Cllr Mike Gibbons -

Cllr Anne Hawkesworth -

Cllr Martin Smith -