Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council has recommended that plans for
230 houses next to Thornhill Road should be refused on several counts.
After close scrutiny of the second set of controversial plans for
the site submitted by Skipton Properties, councillors expressed grave
concern about many aspects of its design.
Worries regarding traffic congestion, surface water and sewage -
expressed in relation to the original plans - have been renewed in the
A traffic survey conducted by the property developer on the already
congested Skipton Road showed that by 2014, when the site is scheduled
to be completed, there will be a major increase in the number of cars
going to the junction of Thornhill Road and Skipton Road.
Chairman of the council, Councillor David Mullen, said the roads
could not cope with that kind of increase in congestion.
He said: “The second survey shows that between 7.30-8.30am there
are 1,450 cars going both ways on Skipton Road and by 2014 there will
be 1,750 cars and it is already running at over capacity.
“If traffic lights are put up at the junction of Thornhill Road and
Skipton Road, as suggested, it will turn Clough Avenue into a rat
Vice-chairman of the council, Cllr Su Thompson, added: “In most
houses with two adults there will also be two cars, which is nearly
500 more cars coming out of Thornhill Road and it cannot take the
amount it has as it is.”
It was announced that Skipton Properties planned to employ a
“travel plan co-ordinator” to start work from this year until the last
house is sold, whose job it would be to knock on doors and persuade
people to use alternative modes of transport.
The travel co-ordinator will produce a walking route map to show
new residents how to get to various places, such as the doctor’s
surgery in Silsden.
But the idea met with some scepticism from councillors.
Cllr Mullen said: “They seem to have forgotten Airedale bypass,
which has to be crossed first.”
His concerns were echoed by Cllr John Hargreaves, who said: “That
is absolutely ridiculous.”
Cllr Thompson raised issues regarding drainage of surface water and
overloading the already bursting sewer pipes in Steeton.
She said: “He has not proposed any treatment for the surface run
“At the moment these plans say it is running into the beck but
Yorkshire Water has said it cannot go into the beck.”
Councillors also questioned why the plans showed that over 6.2
hectares of land would be built on when the Unitary Development Plan
for the area specified that only 4.9 hectares had actually been
There is also no mention of where section 106 “amenities” money
would be used and Cllr Thompson said the plans were not “secured by
design”. She said: “The schools are full, I don’t know how many more
the doctors can take - there is not infrastructure to cope with a
development of this size.
“In 20 years time all this will be a complete nightmare. We are
supposed to be developing ‘sustainable communities’ and this is not
Apart from Cllr Roger Lambert, who expressed a prejudicial interest
in the development, the councillors were unanimous in recommending its
Cllr Mullen also asked the clerk to request that the deciding
planning panel meeting should be held in Steeton to make it easier for
local people to attend.
The annual meeting of the parish council saw Cllr David Mullen
re-appointed as chairman and Cllr Su Thompson vice chairman. It will
be their second terms in the posts.
Sgt Jo Beecroft, from Craven Neighbourhood Policing Team,
reiterated the “police pledge” that consistent issues in the area
would become a “policing priority”.
In Steeton, she said this included patrolling Robyn Drive for
anti-social behaviour and the bowling pavilion after one of its
windows was recently smashed.
A youth services representative, Abina Dorgan-Smith, told the
council that an “outreach vehicle” would be at Steeton recreational
ground every Wednesday evening.
She was also planning to liaise with the bowling club to see if the
pavilion could be used for young people to meet during the winter
“We also plan to do South Craven School lunchtime sessions to see
what the pupils would want to get involved in,” she said.
From the archive
© Newsquest Media Group 2009