A developer is seeking permission to build more than 50 homes on green belt land in Cross Hills.

Harron Homes has submitted plans to build 54 houses on land at Ashfield Farm, next to the railway off Skipton Road.

The plans envisage a range of one, two, three, four and five-bed detached, semi-detached and terrace properties, 22 of which would be classed as affordable homes. They also include the demolition of Ashfield Farm and its ancillary buildings.

However, an existing copper beach tree would be retained on the site frontage to create an “impressive entrance green”.

The developer’s agent, Johnson Brook, said the “key benefit of the scheme is the delivery of housing in an area which has a significant shortfall in supply”.

Craven District Councillor Stephen Place (Ind) said: “I don’t believe for one minute that there is a need or call for housing in the area.

“I think the feeling in South Craven is that no large scale development should be approved until the seriously critical road traffic infrastructure has been solved. This problem is blighting people’s lives.”

He said that other main issues with the application include loss of view from residents living across the road and loss of green space that separates a “more urban Bradford Met” from the more rural Craven.

Coun Place also highlighted the ongoing capacity issues with the South Craven sewer, with the plan calling for “domestic foul flows from the development site to initially be allowed to discharge to watercourse following treatment via a suitably sized package treatment works”.

“This is a serious concern,” added Coun Place. “The River Aire is recovering as a spawning ground for trout. Any effluent going into the ecosystem would endanger this recovery.”

A consultation on the plans ends on Friday, February 14.