Menston – Developers Oppose Sensible Flooding Requirements

The position at 19 June 2013 is that the intending developers of the site at Bingley Road (Taylor Wimpey) have applied to Bradford Council for a variation of the condition which was attached to the Outline Planning Permission for this site, relating to the flood risk and the drainage implications downstream.  This is a matter which has to go before another meeting of the Regulatory & Appeals Committee (formerly the Planning Panel).  The date for such a meeting (with this item on the Agenda) has not yet been published, but it may be held in July.

Menston’s resident groups would and will oppose any attempt to have those conditions revised, as they represent professional guidance from Bradford Council’s Drainage Team and are underscored by expert evidence.  That evidence states that the Bingley Road site is unsustainable for housing construction by reason of its geology and the presence of underground water sources (springs and bourns) and the topology of the moorside, whereby all the water running off from this area of Rombalds Moor (over 100 sq. km) has to find its way down to the River Wharfe, through Menston.  We’ve had quite sufficient flooding – thank you! – without more concrete on the moorside displacing more water through our Victorian drainage system.

Both Yorkshire Water and The Environment Agency have expressed the view that the drainage condition in the Planning Permission is quite proper and simply anticipates new legislation (Sustainable Urban Development Systems or SUDS) which will become law in early 2014. Of course, the developers would like to ignore the implications and start building houses before the new law affects them and the potential profitability of any housing they might eventually erect.  WARD will be adding its weight and opposition to that of Menston Action Group, Menston Community Association and Menston Parish Council, to argue that the condition is entirely appropriate to this sensitive location and should not be changed just because the developer would be prepared to take the risk of flooding the village.  The liability, in that event, would fall upon Bradford Council, but the inconvenience and damage would be caused to residents of Menston.

Alan D Elsegood

Chairman, Menston Community Association and Secretary of WARD