MORE THAN 130 people attended a recent public meeting focusing on controversial plans for a new road in Silsden.

Local councillor Adrian Naylor organised the gathering in Silsden Town Hall to give clear and up-to-date information about the plans.

Townspeople were able to express their concerns and ask questions about the proposed road linking Bolton Road to the Hawber Cote area.

The road is intended to provide access to a potential housing estate in fields at Hawber Cote – with up to 500 houses – and an extra access route to the site of the planned new Silsden Primary School.

Local residents are concerned that the road would cut across several fields, footpaths and nesting birds’ feeding sites.

Cllr Naylor, a town and district councillor, was joined by senior Bradford Council highways officers who were able to answer questions about the planning application for the road.

Cllr Naylor said: “It was a useful meeting. There had been a lot of confusion over the agents for the developer speaking to individual members of the public about certain design features.

“The officers were able to tell the meeting exactly what the application was, and what people could comment on.”

“The main issue was the road being used as a potential linkage to the school and Hawber Cote Lane.

“The officers were at pains to point out the school was already approved, and didn’t need this road. They said there was no impediment to the building of the school.”

The officers told the meeting that construction work on the school was due to begin early next year, with the school expected to open in September 2020.

Cllr Naylor said residents were also concerned to hear that some of the land over which the new road would cross was not owned by the developer.

He added: “There are concerns that the site of this road goes through an area where it would cut across well-used footpaths including the Millennium Way. There’s no information about how people would be affected by this, such as stiles and crossings.”

He added: “Another concern was about the increasing amount of traffic through Silsden and how reliable the most recent traffic surveys were.”

He said residents was concerned about potential problems entering and exiting the school site from the Bolton Road and Dale View sides.

Cllr Naylor said residents’ fears of traffic dangers at the proposed junction with Bolton Road could not be addressed yet, because the planning application was only in outline state with little detail.

Cllr Naylor said residents were also concerned that there was not yet any details of how many houses were planned for the fields at Hawber Cote.

But he said: “The developers have indicated the road could take traffic from up to 500 houses.”

In May this year Bradford Council gave planning permission for a new 640-pupil primary school to replace the existing overcrowded buildings on the Hothfield and Aire View school sites.

Keighley MP John Grogan has backed residents’ concerns about potential traffic danger and congestion in surrounding streets.