Blow for green belt grammar school plans

5:05pm Tuesday 9th February 2010

By Michael Black

Plans to build a £30 million super-school for Ilkley on a green-field site have suffered a setback.

The town’s parish council plans committee narrowly voted to reject outline planning permission for a new grammar school in Ben Rhydding, believing that the special circumstances needed to breach green belt preservation had not been met.

Concerns were also raised over pedestrian safety around the proposed site, off Wheatley Lane.

The parish council’s recommendation will now be forwarded to Bradford Council planners, who are expected to discuss the application in the summer.

Four out of seven councillors on the committee voted against the proposal, following a public consultation meeting in Ilkley last week.

About 150 people had turned up to voice their opinions, including objections about increased traffic, the loss of green belt and fears that a 2,000-pupil school would affect standards.

Supporters of the proposals say the existing Ilkley Grammar School site on Cowpasture Road is inadequate.

Most committee members felt the case for breaching green belt regulations had not been met.

Parish council vice-chairman Councillor Brian Mann said: “I don’t think that they have made the case but I wish they had.”

Plans committee chairman Councillor Andrew Mckie said: “It’s not the end of the plan by any means as there will be changes. We would need to review any new documentation to see if it would change any of our views.”

e-mail: newsdesk@telegraphandargus.co.uk

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