BAILDON RESERVOIR SITE LATEST INFORMATION
Baildon Town Council wishes to share widely the latest information in relation to Baildon Reservoir.
UPDATE ON 29TH SEPTEMBER
Gill Dixon, Baildon Town Council Chair commented: "I have just heard that the appeal against the enforcement notice on the reservoir site has been judged invalid. I gather this is because it was submitted incorrectly. I share the concerns expressed by residents about the continued activity on this sensitive site on Baildon Moor, the impact on wildlife, and the visual impact of continued apparent heavy construction work on this prominent location, in spite of the decisions taken by Bradford Council. I understand that the original enforcement notice will now come into practical effect, and the enforcement process will come into play. We will do everything we can to encourage early action, but the terms of the enforcement notice recognise that it will take some years to restore the site to moorland. Nevertheless, it would be good to see some steps taken in the near future. We will do our best to share any information we receive on our website."
UPDATE ON 9TH SEPTEMBER
Baildon Town Council has criticised the continued tipping in the reservoirs. Councillor Gill Dixon said today: “Baildon Town Council shares the concerns of residents about the continued activity. We strongly opposed the planning application which has now been refused.”
An enforcement notice was put in place last month, banning any tipping.
“Unfortunately, the current owner has lodged an appeal,” Cllr Dixon said. “This means Bradford Council is unable to enforce the notice until a decision is made by the Planning Inspectorate - and we understand this may be many months away. Regulations are very much in favour of the developer, allowing this flagrant breach of decisions made by Bradford Council, which are not enforceable because of the pending appeal process. We are working with the ward councillors for Baildon and have requested an urgent meeting with Philip Davies MP to press for speedier action on the appeal. Baildon Town Council is hugely disappointed at this situation and regrets that at present it is not able to do anything to intervene.”
ORIGINAL POST ON 27TH JULY 2016
Over recent months, a number of councillors have been working closely with District Councillors for the Baildon ward to address the main concerns about activities on this site. Most recently, residents have been extremely worried about the waste material visibly being imported onto the site and the unknown effect on the watercourses arising from the site.
Gill Dixon, Chair of Baildon Town Council, says:
"I am pleased to see today that a legal Planning Enforcement Notice has been served by Bradford Council. This has followed many months of discussion between Baildon Town Council and Bradford Council via the ward councillors for Baildon. It has been frustrating at times that it has taken so long to get to this point, but this legal notice we hope will put a stop to any unauthorised activity on the site.
Progress has been complicated by the submission of a planning application for the same site, widely reported in the press. Baildon Town Council is not authorised to make a decision on the planning application, as this is done by Bradford Council as Planning Authority. However Baildon Town Council is a statutory consultee, and any comments we make formally would have been invalid if we could have been accused of 'pre-determination' or showing that we had made our minds up before viewing the application itself. For this reason, Baildon Council has had to be careful in making any public statements outside of the planning process. Now that our Planning Committee has agreed and submitted our position to object to this application, we can comment without restriction, and wish to do so.
The comments we have formally submitted can be seen in full below. I want to thank all the residents of Baildon for their vigilance and involvement over recent months, and patience, as we try to address the issues of concern. The Town Council is listening very carefully to all views expressed, and even though we may not have been able to make public comment until now, all 12 Baildon Town Councillors are active in seeking the best possible outcome for Baildon residents and the local environment."
The Planning Enforcement notice can be found on Bradford Council's Planning website - reference 16/00031/ENFUNA. Residents can access this via Bradford Council's website, or alternatively via Baildon Town Council's website following the links to planning enforcement notices. In essence the notice requires the developer to immediately cease importation of waste and soils, and, over the next 18 months recontour the site and plant to grass. The notice may be subject to appeal, and if no appeal, takes effect from 26th August.
The Planning application is reference 16/04799/FUL. Comments are best submitted by the 12th August which is the earliest date the application can be determined.
As of today, over 160 comments have been registered. The Town Council comment can be found under Gary Stevenson (Deputy Clerk for Baildon Town Council) on 25th July, and is given in full below:
16/04799/FUL Acre Reservoir
Baildon Town Council objects to the application. Although the application does show some innovation, and is for ‘state of the art eco-houses’, it is the opinion of the Town Council that the ‘very special circumstance’, as detailed in the NPPF at sections 87 and 88, concerning development on the Green Belt, are not met. Similarly, the requirements of Chapter 13 of the Replacement Unitary Development Plan are not met.
The proposal is for an inappropriate use of a brownfield site that sits in the middle of moorland designated as greenbelt. Although the site is brownfield and in a current poor state of repair, the architectural integrity of the reservoirs has already been considerably compromised. It is considered that the proposed development of the site would have a significant visual and ecological impact on the surrounding environment, including the openness of the green belt.
The impact of any development and the accompanying human activity, over both the short and long term, would be greater than leaving the site as it is; therefore bullet point 6 of NPPF section 89 is negated as an exception. Although ‘eco-houses’, the impact of other services to the site, such as telecommunications, utilities and refuse collection is a concern in such a sensitive location. These requirements are likely to compromise the purpose and defining characteristics of the green belt.
There are concerns about traffic flow on a busy road and at a section that has recently had an amended speed limit. The question of access to the site both for vehicles and for services needs to be addressed, during and after construction.
There are also concerns about the potential impact of the development on Barnsley Beck and the possibility of flooding as it descends to its lower reaches.