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Councillor David Loud's letter to the Keighley News sets out the challenges that lie ahead with the proposed new planning rules.


" During the 2019 election, one of our MP’s election pledges was to “say no to reckless over development to protect our green spaces”. Will this week’s announcement by the Government to relax planning regulations give a green light for the bulldozers to move in on the green fields surrounding Silsden?The new ‘Planning for the Future’ programme demolishes the checks and balances needed to ensure that large scale developments, like those provisionally planned for Silsden, do not just get rubber stamped without full consultation and consideration of the needs of the local community. There is an acceptance that the planning process needs reform. However, rather than relaxing the rules, they need to be tightened up - to hold developers to account. It is essential that we build for a sustainable future, with high quality building standards, zero carbon housing, a 100% commitment to green energy use, supporting green transport initiatives, etc. The main beneficiaries of the Government’s new scheme will be the large-scale housing developers whose main purpose is to build purely for profit. Those involved in turning our fields into tarmac show a complete lack of appreciation of the consequences of such developments. They will ruin the natural resources and landscape of our community.We have already seen significant development proceed in our town that has completely disregarded the commitment to infrastructure improvements that were supposed to be a pre-requisite of past development plans. It is imperative therefore, that the green fields surrounding Silsden should be categorised as ‘Protected’. The alternative ‘Growth’ status will no doubt be ambiguous in detail and provide a lack of justification and accountability.When garnering votes, Mr Moore promised to put the interests of Keighley and Ilkley first. I think it is now time for him, and our three Ward Councillors, to go on record to state whether they support these Government proposals, or whether they would prefer to see the fields around Silsden stay green. Stand by your election pledges and put Silsden first. "




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Silsden Campaign for the Countryside is run by local people who care deeply about our town. We are not affiliated to any political party and we welcome all Silsden residents as members and supporters. We now need more people to support us to stop over-development ruining our town.

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