Homes plan for beauty spot is over

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Attempts to build houses on a beauty spot in West Ardsley appear to be over after an appeal by developers against the council was dismissed.

Stonebridge Homes had wanted to create 10 homes on Haigh Moor Road near Ardsley Reservoir which opponents said would ruin the surrounding area and green space.

The land, which is owned by Yorkshire Water, was first subject to a planning application for 12 homes last year but this was later amended to 10. The council’s Plans Panel recommended the proposals be rejected in January, though they had no power to enforce the ruling themselves.

Stonebridge then appealed on the grounds the local authority had failed to issue a decision on their application within the prescribed timescale, but this had now been dismissed by an independent planning inspector.

Reporting back with her conclusions, Inspector Sarah Housden said: “The proposal would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area and the Special Landscape Area (SLA). Accordingly, as the proposal would not contribute to all three aspects of sustainability, it would not constitute sustainable development.”

Coun Jack Dunn said the decision was a victory for common sense. “This is the local beauty spot for the community, and should remain so for future generations,” he said.

“We owe a great debt to the group of objectors led by Gary Boyes and Alan Weldon, along with other local residents who have taken up the challenge and won the day.”

Homeowners living around the site are now trying to establish permanent protection from housebuilding and development for the landscape.