Bikers can continue to use historic track at Silsden

Craven Herald: Ian Boothman allows bikers to use his land Ian Boothman allows bikers to use his land

A bike track where a former world champion cut his teeth can once again be used by motorcyclists thanks to the efforts of a club.

Last January Bradford Council informed the owners of Rough Holden Farm in Silsden that they might have to shut their site to motorcyclists after complaints were received from some residents.

Although the Boothman family said they had used motorbikes on the land for decades, the council issued an enforcement notice that would limit the use of motorcycles on the site to just 14 days a year.

Eager to keep the land as a facility for bikers, the family applied to the council for permission for continued use.

Last month officers got in touch to say the family could withdraw the application as the council would allow them to continue using the land.

Ian Horsfall, Bradford Council's planning manager (enforcement and trees), said: “We looked into the situation with this piece of land and concluded that, because it was only intermittently used for trial bikes, no planning permission was needed.”

Sam Boothman, whose father Ian owns the site, said they did not make a profit from letting bikers use the land and that it was an important facility for the area.

The farm has hosted Bradford and District Motor Club events for at least ten years and is where world champion trials biker Dougie Lampkin, from Silsden, practised.

Mr Boothman said Bradford Trials Club had been a huge help in their fight to keep going, paying for their application, providing evidence the site had been used for years and offering legal advice.

He said: “The council’s legal team decided we could carry on what we were doing.

“We can use the land for competitions 21 days of the year, but the rest of the time it is just for family and friends. We have competitions here now and then, but it is nowhere near 21 days a year.”

He hoped motorcyclists would start returning to the site now its future was secured.

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