STEETON councillors are moving ahead with plans to secure the future of public land in the village.

They are negotiating with Bradford Council, charity bosses and the Land Registry over the use of land on various sites.

Success could mean improvements to the Keighley Road recreation ground, a safer route for pedestrians to the school and doctors’ surgery, and a new, more prominent site for the Steeton Christmas tree.

Parish chairman David Mullen said his council wanted to take over Corn Mill Green, which lies off Skipton Road and Mill Lane near the transport cafe.

He said: “It would come to us from Bradford Council through Community Asset Transfer. We’ve already got a draft lease.

“If the land is granted to us, then it can’t be touched for housing. We will do the place up. One of my councillors has asked to put up a maypole.”

The parish council has secured cash to improve drainage on the Keighley Road – which lies next to Steeton Primary School – but cannot go ahead until it proves it owns the land.

Cllr Mullen said the council had owned the land since 1920, but when it recently tried to officially register it with the Land Registry, councillors discovered their title deed was only a copy.

He added: “Where the original is we don’t know. We always thought we had the original.”

The parish council also has plans for two parcels of land alongside Chapel Road, a narrow road with no pavement that is used as a rat-run despite it being one-way for part of its length.

Use of a large grassed area at the Mill Lane end of Chapel Road is governed by a legal covenant protecting it as community space, and it also lies within a Conservation Area. Children currently play on it.

The parish council has for several years been in discussion about the site with Bradford Council, the Charity Commission, and nearby residents who have asked for parking spaces.

Cllr Mullen said: “Bradford Council highways need to come up with a traffic safety scheme, and we’re saying that any scheme has to have a pavement.

"Until something workable is put forward, nothing will be signed off.”

A thin strip of land on Chapel Road, next to Steeton Methodist Church at the junction with Keighley Road, is due to be handed to the parish council through Community Asset transfer.

The parish council plans to buy a new Christmas tree to place permanently at that location, so it is more visible than its present location on Mill Lane.